Health studio gives back to community
by staff reports
October 06, 2012 02:43 AM | 2378 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Laura Mikszan stands with Dean Elrod, brother of DJ Elrod, who was shot and killed in July. Mikszan’s new organization, Envision Health Studio, raised funds for DJ Elrod’s small child.<br>Cherokee Tribune/Special
Laura Mikszan stands with Dean Elrod, brother of DJ Elrod, who was shot and killed in July. Mikszan’s new organization, Envision Health Studio, raised funds for DJ Elrod’s small child.
Cherokee Tribune/Special
A local health studio is on track to help residents find good health as part of its community outreach program.

The new organization has already helped a local teen battling leukemia to find a bone marrow donor match and raised funds for a child whose mother was murdered in Cherokee County in a domestic dispute earlier this year.

Envision Health Studio, which is owned and operated by fitness expert and best-selling author Stacy Ward and Cherokee County entrepreneur Laura Mikszan, officially opened in its permanent site located on the World of Kids Campus on Bells Ferry Road in Woodstock on Oct. 1.

On Sept. 30, Envision hosted “Ignite the Light for Lindsay” along with the “Be the Match Registry,” to raise awareness and encourage people to register as bone marrow donors.

The event, which featured music, face-painting, a bounce house and more, resulted in 87 new members to the Bone Marrow Registry.

Within four days, a donor match was found for 13-year-old Lindsay Simmons, a Cherokee County resident who was diagnosed at age 8 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, according to the center.

This will be her second bone marrow transplant, and the first non-relative donor.

Following two years of treatment that resulted in remission, Lindsay’s cancer returned and her sister, Hannah, donated bone marrow.

Lindsay experienced a second relapse, followed by a deadly fungal infection resulting from one of her treatments. Despite the odds, Lindsay recovered from the infection and has been on maintenance chemotherapy treatments to keep her leukemia at bay while she waited for a non-relative donor.

Because a donor has now been located, Lindsay faces the possibility of living cancer-free, the center said is a release.

“Ignite the Light for Lindsay” is the second successful outreach event hosted by Envision’s “Get Fit-Give Back” Program.

On Aug. 18, Envision sponsored a fundraising campaign benefiting the Dejanirra “DJ” Elrod Memorial Fund.

Elrod was a single mother actively involved with the Cherokee County Boys & Girls Club, who was killed outside her Canton home in July.

The event raised more than $300 from book sales, raffles and wristband sales, which will help support Elrod‘s 2-year-old son, who survived the attack.

More “Get Fit-Give Back” events are scheduled through the rest of this year, including “Taming the Nile” on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Hobgood Park.

Envision Health Studio members will provide the energetic warm-up and participate in the run, which raises funds and awareness about malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that claims the life of a child every 30 seconds.

On Oct. 27, Envision members will participate in National Make a Difference Day at the studio; and in November, Envision will host its annual “Burn the Fat-Feed the Hungry” event, benefiting MUST Ministries of Cherokee County.

For more information about Envision Health Studio, contact Ward at (404) 271-2534 or

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