Most people may have never heard of polymyositis, a rare inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness throughout the body. 

Shonda Brown certainly hadn’t when she was diagnosed with it at the age of 14.

“It just came out of the blue,” she said. “I had never been sick—barely even had a cold. They think I got it from a viral infection, but no one knows for sure. 

“They said it was rare for someone like me to get it so young. I’ve never met anyone else with it. I’ve even gone online to see if I could find anyone else that has gone through it. It’s been hard.”  


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Methodist Rehabilitation Center (MRC) has appointed Tish Hughes, Cy Rosenblatt and T. Calvin Wells to the Board of Governors of the center’s Wilson Research Foundation. As the fund-raising arm of MRC, the Wilson Foundation supports clinical research studies, advanced staff education and state-of-the-art technology.   


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A day after turning 40, Joey Brinson received the best belated birthday gift of his life.

On Aug. 23, he got word he’d be one of only two American wheelchair fencers to compete at the Sept. 7-18 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Once again, I get to represent my country at the highest level of sport,” he quickly posted on Facebook. “This is last minute news and I keep pinching myself to make sure I'm not sleeping. But now it's time to snap into battle mode....USA!!”


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Robert Haseloff is a 69-year-old Brandon businessman with a bum left shoulder.

But lately he’s been rocking the look of an Olympic medalist.

Like volleyball legend Kerri Walsh Jennings, he’s found muscle support and pain relief via the use of kinesio tape.

“I can’t believe how much it helps,” said Haseloff, the owner of a sporting goods store and a car lot. “I go all day every day and it works great.”

The strips of elasticized cotton first grabbed the spotlight on the backs, abs and joints of elite athletes like Jennings.


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Jasmine “Coco” Whiteside was not herself.

Usually reliable and upbeat, the University of Southern Mississippi senior had begun ditching plans with friends and texting photos of herself crying.

Her mother, Angela Whiteside, was baffled. She knew her daughter as intelligent and independent, the kind of kid who takes care of business.

“Whatever you wanted or needed, Coco was there for you,” Whiteside said.  “Ain’t nobody perfect, but she was perfect.”

And now she was a perfect mess.


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Charles and Anne Hooker of Jackson have enjoyed plenty of meals together during their 48 years of marriage.

But this was a first—sitting side by side in wheelchairs while dining at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

“We hadn’t anticipated this,” Charles said.

Ordinarily, it’s Anne who needs medical care. She has multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and severe scoliosis.

But when Charles had a stroke just before Anne underwent shoulder surgery, the two 70-year-olds suddenly needed a setting where both could recoup. And Anne knew just the place.


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As a graphic design instructor at Mississippi College, Karlos Taylor relies on his artist’s hand and his gift of gab to inspire students.

But after a stroke last year, he found himself stripped of those gifts and unsure if he would ever get them back.

Everything seemed normal the night of October 26. Taylor had been having some headaches, but attributed them to the stress of his job.

“But as I was going to bed, I felt very dizzy,” Taylor said.


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Walter S. Weems of Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, PLLC, in Jackson has been named chairman of the board of trustees for Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson.

At Brunini, Weems serves as principal outside counsel for both traditional corporations and a number of entrepreneurs. His practice areas include corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate. He was chairman of Brunini’s board of directors from 1999 to 2010.


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Doug Boone of Jackson has joined the staff of Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson as vice president of business development and community relations. He is responsible for continuous development, improvement and promotion of MRC's brand and increasing the utilization of MRC's clinical services. He supports all MRC business lines, manages community relations, oversees strategic business development and develops customer loyalty.


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Jamecca Jones has enjoyed “making people look beautiful” since the days she fashioned ponytails and freeze curls for her Bailey High School classmates.

So when a gunshot wound put her in a wheelchair, the Jackson hairstylist was determined to keep the job she loves.

First, she balanced on stacked pillows to reach clients at Shades of Color in Jackson. But that rickety perch has now been replaced by the wizardry of a standing wheelchair.

With a push of a button, Jones can once again rise to her feet and let her fingers fly.


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