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Learn about a wellness center in Kenwood that’s all about whole-body wellbeing and inspiring a deep sense of hope.

Being aware of your health, and having a sense of hope, is more important than ever. That’s the idea behind recently-expanded Anchor Wellness Center in Kenwood.

“Anchor Wellness is an integrative healthcare collaborative that brings highly specialized providers into the same space to deliver client-centric care,” says Dr. Sarah Crawford, PT, DPT, COMT, CMTPT and Founder of Anchor Wellness. 

The company, Anchor Wellness, Inc. was established in 2019, but they grew their business and opened up the Anchor Wellness Center last month. It is located at: 8044 Montgomery Road, Suite 160, which is inside the Towers of Kenwood. The center offers a variety of different expertise, including: nutritional therapy, health coaching, physical therapy, clinical pilates and yoga therapy.

The inspiration behind starting the business came from a passion for giving hope to people. “Prioritizing health and wellness can be daunting. Deciding where to start is overwhelming for some people,” Crawford says. “The Anchor Wellness Center is intended to provide individuals the power to direct their own care in an efficient manner with a team behind them.” The anchor is significant because it is “the international symbol of hope,” she says.

There are a variety of different services offered through Anchor Wellness. “All of our services are aimed at finding root causes. The human body is extremely complex and oftentimes, traditional medicine misses that part,” Crawford says. The vision of Anchor Wellness is to “break the cycle of dependency on external interventions for optimal health,” she says. “We want to educate and empower individuals to realize their capacity to heal, feel well and meet their goals.”

Anchor Wellness defines success through seeing their clients experience success. “Individuals have become extremely dependent on traditional healthcare providers for their well-being,” Crawford says. “We strive to empower our clients to be autonomous in their health and wellness by educating and guiding them towards independence.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people have made their health more of a priority. 

“COVID-19 has posed an opportunity for people to face the reality that their health must be prioritized, but it also requires reassurance that they feel safe wherever they go,” Crawford says. “One of the many blessings of these last few months is that access to care for those who prefer to stay home became readily available. While we have always provided virtual appointments, clients weren’t as aware of those options. This is great for people who travel (pre-COVID) and people in more rural, where getting to our center is sometimes challenging.”

The business is unique because it provides “an intimate settingthat puts clients at the center of their care without having to jump through hoops to get the care they need,” she says. 

Anchor Wellness wants connection with their community. “Health promotion is a community issue. The Anchor Wellness Center aims to build connections and create a network where individuals have resources to answer the problems they or their community face,” Crawford says.

Crawford’s favorite part of her job is seeing her clients experience breakthrough. “Seeing the light bulb go off for our clients,” she says. “When they connect the dots and realize how things have happened and that they have the opportunity to re-write their future, that’s what keeps us going.”

If you want to keep up with what’s going on with Anchor Wellness, follow them on Facebook and their website.

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Learn about a local, family-owned, recently-expanded fitness studio that has a plan to motivate you to be your best self this year.


The goal of Anchor Fitness is to help every individual achieve their health and fitness goals. The family-owned, community-based training facility offers certified staff that enjoys sharing their passion for fitness with clients.

“Our mission is to provide individuals with the highest quality coaching, resources, and support backed by a motivating and encouraging community,” says Kait Collins, the Manager of Marketing and Operations at Anchor Fitness. “Our sessions are tailored to those just beginning their fitness journey to elite athletes.”

Due to its dedication in helping its clients meet their health and fitness goals, Anchor Fitness has expanded in the last few years to include other activities such as high-intensity boxing sessions and the Anchor Run by Kids programming.

But, Collins emphasizes, Anchor is so much more than just a training facility. “Anchor is a community of individuals striving to better themselves, who support and motivate each other along this journey,” she adds.

The owners behind Anchor Fitness are Leah and Joseph Mendenhall, who felt that they needed to open a fitness studio when they saw a need for a facility that offered group fitness without the intimidation often felt at other gyms.

“They wanted to offer a gym where you could be challenged to work hard, while feeling the support from the gym community and guidance from trainers who truly care about your health and wellness goals,” says Collins. “This was and is today, the foundation of Anchor Fitness.”

Collins says that Anchor Fitness prides itself on the community it’s created. “The community is unlike anything we have ever experienced,” she says. “Filled with members who start as strangers and soon become family – new clients should anticipate to feel supported the moment they walk through the doors.”

Also, Anchor Fitness strives to offer workouts that are dynamic, always changing, and never boring.

According to Collins, Anchor Fitness has big plans for 2019, as the facility continues to upgrade and outfit itself with more state-of-the-art equipment to enhance member experience.

“We have several wellness challenges for our members offered throughout the year, motivating clients to reach their goals,” says Collins. “We are fueled by community outreach and giving back, and of course, expect to see tons of clients making huge transformations by committing to our programming to make this the best year yet.”

You can find Anchor Fitness in the heart of Batavia, which also helps to make the facility an ideal location for clients around the Tri-State.

To learn more about Anchor Fitness, visit You can also follow along on Facebook.

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“Seriously, I thought The Comebacks was going to be a great movie!”Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell, center right, in brown wide collar leather jacket) shares a laugh on set with Brick Tamland (Steve Carell, far left), Champ Kind (David Koechner) and Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) in a scene from the Adam McKay directed and McKay and Ferrell co-written comedy ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUESCredit Gemma LaMana © MMXIII Paramount Pictures Pictures. All Rights Reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Meagan Good, Dylan Baker, Christina Applegate, Josh Lawson, Judah Nelson, James Marsden, Greg Kinnear, Kristen Wiig, Harrison Ford and the voice of Bill Kurtis … Plus a gang of other surprise cameo guests …
WRITER(S): Will Ferrell and Adam McKay
60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): Picking up with everyone’s favorite news team entering the 1980s, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues once again stars Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, who has made the move from San Diego to New York with his co-anchor in both news and love, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). Enjoying their life in NYC with their 6 year-old son Walter (Judah Nelson), Ron and Veronica are now hoping to replace 35 year veteran newsman (Harrison Ford) in prime time on a major network …

Well, at least one of them will, anyway … And it’s not everyone’s favorite fan of scotch.

Dejected, Ron returns to his beloved San Diego only to be contacted by Freddie Shapp (Dylan Baker), a talent scout for the Global News Network (GNN), a new 24-hour cable news channel being launched by Australian airline magnate Kench Allenby (Josh Lawson). Re-assembling his news team brethren – sports anchor Champ Kind (David Koechner), investigative reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and loveable dimwit weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) – Ron is eager to get back to New York. Then he meets his newest news nemesis: Jack Lime (James Marsden), the man with the coveted prime time spot Ron and his team – who are bumped to the graveyard shift – desire. So, what does Ron do once his ego is challenged by Lime and his new African-American female boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good)?

He makes a bet that could affect not only his career, but the future of cable news as we know it …

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: Will Ferrell fans, Steve Carrell fans, Paul Rudd fans of the first Anchorman film – that pretty much about covers it.
WHO WON’T LIKE THIS FILM?: People who didn’t like the first Anchorman film, people unfamiliar with how the news industry works, people who hate silly jokes and/or favor realism instead of being able to handle the world in which these characters of the first film
BOTTOM LINE – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? Rare is the comedy sequel that takes everything audiences loved about the first film and expands on it in both (1) sensible and (2) funny fashion so that it compliments the first film. Sure, there have been plenty of films that tried – The Hangover II, Teen Wolf Too, Caddyshack IIBlues Brothers 2000 anyone? – but so many have failed.

Well, while few will argue Anchorman 2 is better than the original, it definitely serves itself up as a great, funny follow-up.

It’s a known truth among actors that comedy is not as easy as it appears to pull off, let alone an ensemble comedy without having it go all Ocean’s Twelve.

WHAT’S GOOD (OR BAD) ABOUT IT?: There are two types of people in this world: Those who hold the original Anchorman film in a high place among the best comedies released in the last 20 years … And those who absolutely do NOT find it funny. If you’re in the first group, you’re going to find the second helping a cinematic afternoon delight. (If you didn’t get that reference, case in point …)

While not as classic as the first film, The Legend Continues does just as its title suggests by adding another chapter to the legend of the fictional Channel 6 news team by playing to each character’s strengths and weaknesses with great comedic aplomb. Ferrell delivers the one-liners, the unabashed swagger, surprising moments of sensitivity and ridiculousness you’ve come to expect from his Burgundy character, complete with new catchphrases, quirks and over-the-top moments that helped define it in the first place.

Likewise, each member of the supporting cast comes in and knocks out their respective parts, be it Koechner as the admittedly racist/sexist/closeted sportsman, Rudd as the would be ladies man and Carell as the ever-so-loveably stupid Tamland. The “core four” is as strong as ever in The Legend Continues; these are four actors that have their timing down and know how to play off each other. That’s what made the first film work so well and what makes the sequel continue to do so.

While Marsden and Greg Kinnear (as Ron’s new romantic foil for Veronica) are given just enough screen time necessary to keep the jokes moving along, the female cast members are given a bit more time to shine – and shine they do. Good delivers what Beyoncé Knowles likely hoped to do in that forgotten Austin Powers movie she did, knocking out jokes without coming off like an ethnic caricature and playing well off the other characters’ racial hangups. Applegate delivers the same effective turn she did in the film’s first go round and as Charni, the equally dimwitted GNN employee that catches Brick’s fancy, Kristen Wiig is a fitting compliment to Carell’s character.

Throw in a bunch of cameo appearances (count ’em all if you can), the return of Ron’s beloved canine buddy Baxter, plenty of verbal and physical sparring sessions and general zany, ludicrous, rapid fire jokes and The Legend Continues gives its fans what it wants: Laughs and plenty of them. 


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Sara Celi, a Cincinnati native

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to get into writing?
Sara Celi, Cincinnati Native and Author: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! I’ve always kept a journal and I wrote dozens of short stories as a kid. I have also spent more than ten years working journalism and broadcasting, so writing is a daily habit for me.


Cincy Chic: How did you get inspired to write “The Undesirable”?
Celi: I had this story in my head for years. I wrote about 20,000 words of a earlier version of it back in 2005, then shelved it because life just seemed to get in the way. Then, in 2012, I decided I’d rework it and finish it. I sat down in mid March and wrote every night, finishing it in mid May. I’ll never forget what that felt like. It’s a mix of things – Ohio politics, economic recession, the media, the challenges of growing up, first love and the unknown. Since May 2012, I’ve written three other books. Published on Amazon as an e-book in January 2013, it’s now available on Kindle, Nook and in paperback on Amazon and Barnes &


Cincy Chic: How did you get involved with Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive?
Celi: In November 2011, I had an extraordinary experience while running the Route 66 Marathon Relay in Tulsa, OK. I met a man during the final few miles who needed help getting to the finish line. Instead of cheering him on and running ahead, I started talking to him and found out the real reason he was on the course that day. Just a few weeks earlier, his son died in a tragic accident in Lawrenceburg, Ind. This man was running to remember his son, who should have been there running next to him.
I was so moved by his story and the chance I had to see him finish the race. As I drove home crying that day, I decided I’d write it all down so that I wouldn’t forget this man’s perseverance. A few months later, I saw a random tweet on Twitter about submissions for CSFTS. The story seemed to fit, so I fired off an email to the editors with the story attached. In May 2012, I got word they wanted to include it in the upcoming book, which Simon and Schuster published in October 2012.


Cincy Chic: Are you currently working on anything or have any projects coming up in the near future?
Celi: The Palms is a novella that is also currently available in paperback and as an e-book on Amazon and Barnes& That story is a light and fun contemporary romance set on Palm Beach, and involves two characters that get a second chance at love.
Prince Charming is a New Adult romance story set in a fictional high school here in Greater Cincinnati. It’s a story told from the perspective of 18-year-old Geoff Miller, who is dealing with his high school graduation, decisions about his future, and his first love. That story is in the middle of the editing process, and will be available on Amazon and Barnes & in January 2014. Here is more about that work from the page about it on Goodreads.
The Resistance is the sequel to The Undesirable. That novel is also in edits, and has a tentative release date of late spring 2014. Learn more about that work via Goodreads.


Cincy Chic: What are some of your favorite authors and books?
Celi: My favorite authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jamie McGuire, Tarryn Fisher and Colleen Hoover.


Cincy Chic: Where can readers to go learn more about you, The Undesirable and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive?
Celi: Readers can check out Facebook, Twitter and Amazon Author Central.


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Sara Celi, contributing author
to “Chicken Soup for the Soul”

Sometimes, life gives you an experience that’s so inspirational and memorable, that – like a dream – you need to write it down immediately before it slips away.


There are those that keep their stories in a tattered notebook or hidden computer file. Then, there are those that end up printed in the latest addition to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series.


This latter scenario is the fortunate truth of Cincinnati native, Sara Celi. “I have always loved to write,” she explains. “It’s in my blood.” Celi’s nonstop storytelling and journaling in high school went hand in hand with her four and half year stay as a reporter at Fox19.


In September 2011, Celi moved to Oklahoma City to anchor the 9p.m. evening show on Freedom43 while also reporting for KFOR and regularly filling in for other shows.


“I really enjoy the people here in Oklahoma,” says Celi. “Like the folks in Cincinnati, they are resilient, strong, and hard-working.” While Celi misses her friends, family, Skyline Chili and Cincinnati sports, she still gets back to the area at least once a month to visit family and friends.


Just a couple months after Celi made the move to Oklahoma City, she found herself at the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon Relay. While questioning her participation in the cold and misty November air, another runner, Jeff Ortega, caught Celi’s attention. She noticed that he looked hurt and offered him words of encouragement.


When Ortega responded with a less than hopeful answer, the conversation continued as Ortega explained how sharp pain ripped through one of his legs with each step. The conversation soon advanced past the formalities and on to why they were both there.


Celi soon found out that Ortega was running in memory of his son who died just two weeks before after falling off the balcony of a home in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.


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Ortega and his son shared a love for running, and quitting was not an option. Celi spent the last two miles of the race laughing, crying and encouraging Ortega as he shared memories of his son.


By the time they got to the finish line, the emotions were high with tears from both Celi and Ortega, when Ortega wanted Celi to meet his family and friends that were there to support him.


“Jeff’s perseverance and strength was extraordinary to me,” says Celi. In order to not forget the experience or the lessons she took away from it, Celi wrote the story down.


“I didn’t plan to do anything with it, but then saw an ‘all call’ for ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ submissions on Twitter in the winter,” says Celi. “I thought, why not? So I sent it!”


While Celi has always loved the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and was eager to share her story, she was elated that when editors from the series contacted her for more information.


Now, a couple rounds of editing later, her story can be found in the newest book in the series, released on October 23, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive.”


To learn more, or to put in your order, visit

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Lisa Cooney, WLWT anchor

Cincy Chic: How long have you been in news? An anchor?
Lisa Cooney, WLWT anchor: I’ve been at WLWT for 23 years. I started as a writer and started doing practice reporter packages on my off-time and turning them into my news director. One weekend my boss came in and told me I had to do a story because a reporter called in sick. But I would have to work a double shift because they needed a writer on the late show. Double shift? At that time in my career, I would have worked quadruple shifts to get my start.


After that day, I was given the weekends to report and six months later, I signed a full-time contract to report. A couple of years later they started a weekend morning show, and I was picked as the anchor and still reported during the week. A couple of years after that I was a full-time anchor.


Cincy Chic: Is it difficult to have a profession that’s always in the public eye?
Cooney: You get used to it. When the kids were little, they would say, “Gosh, Mom. You know everyone!” They didn’t realize that everyone knew me because of my job! We got a kick out of it then and get a kick from it now. Although I do go to Kroger looking like death warmed over and people still say, “Aren’t you Lisa Cooney?” That’s when I say, “No, I get that all the time!” Kidding! Honestly, it is a compliment when people approach me. I figure if they didn’t like me or felt I wasn’t approachable, they wouldn’t feel comfortable coming up and saying hello.


Cincy Chic: When did you decide you wanted to trim down?
Cooney: My dad died in September 2010. When Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I was really feeling out of control with a lot of things and just felt I needed something. What that something was, I did not know at the time. I was unhappy and decided to do something about it, and I guess I could not control my grief, so I decided to control my weight. I never had significant weight loss, ever. I needed was a program to follow, so I went searching.


Cincy Chic: Had you attempted other methods before trying HCG? If so, which?
Cooney: Oh, sure. Who hasn’t tried to lose some weight? But I never followed a program – under a doctor’s care, a program to hold me accountable, a program that required me to visit an office and get on its scale and actually keep track of losing (or gaining) weight.


Cincy Chic: How did you hear about and decide to try HCG?
Cooney: Julia Lutz with UniqueU Medical Weightloss knew my dad and how we got connected with the program. I honestly believe my father had something to do with it. Over the years, I would see Julia around town at events and found out long ago that she was involved in UniqueU. When my dad was sick, she would tell me how wonderful he was and how much he meant to her when she was in sales. My dad was a banker and she would call him. Julia would tell me he was just a good man and good to her and someone who had integrity.


When I hit that low point around Thanksgiving of 2010 that I talked about earlier, I knew I needed a program. I thought of Julia. “I wonder if she can help me?” But life got in the way and I just forgot about it. But my unhappiness stayed. A week later, my desk phone rang. It was Julia. She wanted to know if I wanted to try UniqueU. I was shocked and stunned. My dad was sending me a message. I jumped on board. Thank you, Dad.


Cincy Chic: How much did you lose?
Cooney: I started the program December 8, 2010. By April 8, 2011 I was down 40 pounds. That’s when I stopped the program and they equipped me with the information I needed to maintain my weight loss.


Cincy Chic: Was it difficult?
Cooney: It was a leap of faith. Starting a weight loss program right before the holidays is difficult. But I was determined. I told myself a few things: It’s only food. While you are not having things you want right now, you will have these foods again. And there is difficulty with any challenge. And I do believe my dad somehow gave me the strength to succeed. Weight loss is one of the hardest things for the average person to do. I’ve always known that, and since I have never had significant weight loss, I was very proud of myself.


Cincy Chic: How long has it been since, and how do you feel?
Cooney: My maintenance phase started in mid-April of 2011. I feel great. Being thinner is a wonderful feeling. I have more energy. I went to the doctor soon after reaching my goal, and my doctor was very happy. All my numbers were way down. They were fine to begin with, but the improvement was astonishing.


Cincy Chic: Where did you go for the HCG, and do you recommend them? If so, why?
Cooney: I went to UniqueU Medical Weightloss. I recommend them – highly. They are professional and very supportive. You see a doctor and talk to his or her staff each and every time. They were my guides and my support group. They prop you up if you have not had a good week, and they hug you when you kicked butt. And they understand what regular people go through to lose weight.


Cincy Chic: When you’re not working, what do you like to do with your time?
Cooney: I have been married to Tony for almost 22 years. We have two teenagers. Our son, Jake, is a senior in high school. Our daughter, Avery, is a sophomore in high school. They keep us very busy. We go to their games and events, and we are involved with their schools and their lives.


I’m actually kind of a homebody. I never admitted that until recently. One of my friends said, “Well, are you going to the party, or are you staying home and making up another excuse why you can’t go?” Snap! She burned me, and she’s right. So, Tony and I are making more of an effort to get out and be more sociable.


Cincy Chic: What’s your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Cooney: Doing my job in my own hometown. I’m from Northern Kentucky and never left. We spent the first 14 years of our marriage in Park Hills. We’re in Ft. Wright now, and I grew up in Ft. Wright.


I feel like I know everyone. And to tell you the truth, people don’t say much, “Aren’t you Lisa Cooney?” Because they know my family and my cousins, my parents and my friends. My husband is from Lebanon, but this is his home, too.


I love people. I love my hometown. Cincinnati is one of those places where people might leave for a time, but they always come back.


Click here to watch an exclusive webcast of Lisa Cooney talking candidly about her dramatic weight loss.


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Anchor Wellness Center and WISe Wellness Guild empower Cincinnatians to take control of their health and wellbeing.

Dr. Sarah Crawford, Founder, Anchor Wellness. Photo: Julie Doran

Through a shared mission to change the way women access healthcare in Cincinnati, two women-owned businesses – Anchor Wellness Center and WISe Wellness Guild – have aligned. Both businesses serve as educational platforms and provide services that empower women to take health and wellness into their own hands.

Anchor Wellness Center, a Kenwood-based center offering physical therapy, clinical Pilates, lifestyle coaching, nutritional therapy and yoga therapy, was founded by Dr. Sarah Crawford, a licensed physical therapist in 2019. WISe Wellness Guild, founded by Stevi Carr in 2019, leverages expertise in behavioral sciences, healthcare, wellcare and women’s empowerment to provide a platform that shifts the way women work and live. 

“We formed this partnership to help women challenge the norms set for them,” says Dr. Crawford. “We are pushing for women to prioritize themselves, think bigger and demand a seat at the table. To do that, women need to be the best versions of themselves which means prioritizing their mental and physical wellness and having a supportive network to help them function optimally and achieve exactly what they want. We’re providing the tools to do just that.”

“Wellness is a spectrum, and it is important that we acknowledge that each woman’s journey is individual and personal” says Stevi Carr, Founder of WISe. “With that being said, one of the biggest contributors to healthy habit formation is the power of a like-minded community. WISe aims to create an ecosystem of empowerment and accountability to offer a culture of wellness.”

Stevi Carr, Founder of WISe Wellness Guild. Photo: Tasha Pinelo Photography

WISe Wellness Guild Members get access to special events and promotions within Anchor Wellness Center. Other benefits include the opportunity to connect guild members and corporate partners with providers inside Anchor Wellness Center. 

For additional information on Anchor Wellness Center and WISe Wellness Guild, please visit and, respectively.

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Local news anchor Alanna Martella continues her story of courage and strength, beating death, and winning at life.

In Part 1 of her story Alanna Martella shared her story of courage and strength, beating death and winning at life.

In Part 2 we asked Alanna to share her strengths and opportunity areas in wellness.  

“I think there’s a season for everything” said Martella. “I hope to one day be able to confidently say I excel and am aligned on all levels simultaneously, but at the sake of being vulnerable, it depends on when you’re asking. Some days I feel my physical self is excelling. Other days, I feel pretty strong about my occupational area or mental state.”

Alanna has used this strength to add a new item on her resume: keynote speaking. During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown the pandemic Alanna spent her free time writing a keynote speech to help impact and inspire others. Through her RISE UP model, Martella hopes to ignite the flame in every person who listens that you can (and will!) overcome enormous obstacles and seize opportunities, through a series of 5 basic steps.

Alanna identifies her sense of spirituality as her biggest strength in wellness.  “Meditation is known to ease uncertainty and unkind thoughts. Just 10 minutes a day really makes a difference. I also like listening to hz frequencies and reaching out to friends and talking to them or facetiming them.”  

Martella loves to move and finds joy particularly through practicing yoga.  It is in this practice that she is able to best manage her mental health.  

Through the ups and downs of her physical health journey, Alanna has always been willing to be open and transparent, leadinng to the creation of “Girls with Guts Podcast” with fellow intestinal illness warrior Nicole Dambro.   

Want to learn more about Alanna Martella’s Rise Up keynote or Girls with Guts podcast? Visit

Bag spill content, left to right: Orbit Bubblemint Sugar Free Chewing Gum, Crunchmaster Crackers (Kroger), Burts Bees Vanilla Bean.

“A Leadership Style” is a column authored by WISe Wellness Guild founder Stevi Gable Carr and powered by Crunchmaster Crackers aimed at celebrating female leaders who have advanced in their careers because they have integrated work and life through whole-self wellness.  

Glossary of terms: 

Womxn: noun, plural wom·xn [wim-in] /ˈwɪm ɪn/. a woman (used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women)

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If it takes great courage to follow your dreams, how do you characterize someone who beats death, chases their dreams and wins multiple Emmy Awards, all before the age of 30? Perhaps we ask Alanna Martella, Traffic Anchor at WLWT.

A lot of times, society tells us that our goals are “too lofty,” are “pipe dreams” or that we’ll “never make it” — and in turn, that message can discourage us from pushing forth and working to make our dreams happen. Not for Alanna. “When it comes to my career journey, I am most proud of having the courage to pursue my dreams and visions. To be able to say I’ve been able to tack off those career visions I’ve had since a little girl (and even those that I continue to tack off now with my “big girl dreams”) is extremely humbling and satisfying” said Martella when asked about achieving at such a relatively young age.

On the surface, Alanna’s life could appear to be a simple and easy, however, her life has truly been a rollercoaster of highs, lows, peaks and valleys. As mentioned in a previous feature in Cincy Chic, Alanna experienced death. This past year has been one full of continued health challenges, forcing her to be admitted several times to the hospital during the pandemic for issues directly related to her intestinal illness.

How has she managed to thrive amidst the chaos? By taking mindfulness and snack breaks with healthy nibbles like Crunchmaster Crackers and Think! Bars. “Meditation has been an absolute game-changer for me” said Martella. “Yes, physical health is important for wellness (and I think that’s what might pop into most people’s head when they think of wellness), but if you don’t have your mental state in check, that will spiral out to your overall well-being on all levels.”  

Due to Alanna’s health challenges she has been open about her decision to do In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and freeze her eggs. “My health history has caused my egg supply to diminish significantly, and though right now it’s still up in the air if having kids is a part of my life path, ‘down the road’ will likely be too late.”  You can learn more about Alanna’s decision to IVF on May 4th as a panelist at “The Motherhood Journey” event, presented by The Christ Hospital. 

In part 2 of Alanna’s story we’ll discuss her commitment to inspiring others through telling stories of hope and resilience through keynote speaking and her new podcast!.  

Learn more about Alanna Martella visit

Bag spill content, left to right: Think! Bar, Crunchmaster Crackers (Kroger), Orbit Bubblemint Sugar Free Chewing Gum, ZO Skin Health, Burts Bees Vanilla Bean, MEAS Active, Christian Dior Refillable Lipstick, Bath & Body Works Stress Release Lotion, Crest Toothpaste and Oral-B Dental Floss.

“A Leadership Style” is a column authored by WISe Wellness Guild founder Stevi Gable Carr and powered by Crunchmaster Crackers aimed at celebrating female leaders who have advanced in their careers because they have integrated work and life through whole-self wellness.  

Glossary of terms: 

Womxn: noun, plural wom·xn [wim-in] /ˈwɪm ɪn/. a woman (used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women)

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    This local news broadcaster’s story is nothing short of astounding. See how she’s pushing forward and encouraging others with the inspiration that can only be found in a second chance at life.

    Alanna Martella was given a new lease on life and is now inspiring others with it.

    Alanna Martella’s journey in this life is nothing short of a miracle, and adventurous. 

    As a little girl, she remembers just how much she loved watching the news, a love she inherited from her mother, who, she recalls, always had the news on the television.

    “She was so interested in knowing what was going on in the community,” says Martella. “Through that, I grew to love the news, too. I loved watching the anchors at the desk and how they developed a rapport with viewers they didn’t know – and how they can seem like your friend without ever being introduced in-person.”

    As a person who also found interest in curiosity, Martella says that her love for the news and for being a “Curious George” meant that it only made sense for her to become a broadcaster. 

    The journey from being a little girl with dreams of becoming a broadcaster to actually becoming a broadcaster had some bumps along the way.

    According to Martella, her health story began her senior year of high school.

    “I was visiting my grandma at her nursing home and felt this extreme pain in my abdomen,” she explains. “It felt as if my insides were on fire. I have never felt anything like this pain and hope to God I never will again.”

    She says the pain continued for hours and she recalls laying in bed that night in the fetal position, in a pool of sweat, and looking out at the moon almost wishing for death. “I felt that would be the only way to relieve myself of the utter anguish that I was experiencing,” she adds. 

    She eventually made it to the bathroom,where she then passed out. Martella hit the ground hard enough that her dad heard and found her on the bathroom floor. With a pulse of 167 beats per minute, 911 was called and she was rushed to the hospital. 

    “Upon arrival at the Emergency Room, I had to go to the bathroom,” she says. “I asked my mom, who had driven to meet me there (since nobody could join me in the ambulance), to help me because I was in so much pain and was so lethargic that I couldn’t walk or hold myself up. So, with my mom’s help, I went into the bathroom. And this is when it happened – I thrashed about a couple of times and then just went limp.”

    Then, it happened. Martella died. 

    A nurse who rushed to the room to provide assistance called a double code and Martella was rushed to the operating room. 

    While her death experience is another tale in itself, she made it back to this side of consciousness and remembers the following events rather vividly. 

    “The doctors were in the zone and rattling off medical terms that didn’t make any sense,” she says. “I remember looking at the back of the room and seeing my mom, dad, and stepdad bawling their eyes out, and I was so confused as to what was happening! I looked to the doctor to my right and asked if I was going to be okay — in which he responded, ‘We’re going to do the best we can.’”

    Even while laying on a gurney, Martella understood the impact of those words, and didn’t see such a bright future for herself. But, she made it through with a newfound love of life and passion for ensuring her own health.

    It turns out that Martella’s small intestines had been twisting around each other. “They had twisted for so long, circulation was cut off and created sepsis, which is how I died,” she says. “The intestines were so dead and necrotic that when the doctors went in to see what was wrong, they actually crumbled in their hands.” 

    The surgeons removed 15 feet of her small intestines, and the remaining intestine were still rather dead, so she was given an ostomy bag. “Let me tell you what, it is not pretty,” she says. “That thing would break open and spill its contents all over my body at any given time. But it did make for a nice conversation piece.” 

    Fast forward through months of IVs full of TPN and lipids, some jaundice, and a chest port, Martella received her high school diploma and her parents were leaving her behind at Ohio University where she was enrolled as a journalism major at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism to pursue her dream of being a broadcast journalist.

    A few more bumps on the long road to a healthy life and Martella found herself on the other side, promising herself to truly, fully live her life.

    “I vowed to myself that I would go skydiving, that I would make every life dream I’ve ever imagined become a reality, that I would tell the ones I love that I love them and nothing would ever go unsaid, that I would go on vacations and not get so caught up with running or exercise,”she says. “I vowed that I would open my heart to find love and eventually get married. But most of all, I vowed to live. To enjoy life and to experience it moment by moment and not get so caught up in the logistics.”

    And since Martell made that vow to herself, she hasn’t looked back. 

    “September 8th, 2008 could have been my last day here on this Earth, but I was blessed enough to get the opportunity of a second chance,” she says. “And you can bet I won’t let any of my life goals, dreams or wishes go unrealized. But more importantly, you can bet I will live and love and enjoy this beautiful gift of life we’ve all been blessed with, because trust me, I know all too well that it can be taken away from us in an instant.”

    Along with the promises Martella made to herself, she also finds plenty of inspiration in the world around her as she navigates her day-to-day life.

    She says that seeing people put themselves aside and go out of their way to make life easier for others is something that encourages and inspires her.

    She’s also inspired by the freedom to do anything and everything we want to do or accomplish in life. “We are so blessed to be presented with endless opportunities, we might as well take advantage of that,” she adds.

    Martella, like most people, says she also finds inspiration in her mom.

    “This woman is the greatest human on Earth,” says Martella. “She truly is sunshine in human form. She’s always in a jolly mood and she always has a smile on her face. If you know Linda Lohrer, I can guarantee you agree with what I’m saying right now. She will drop what she’s doing at any given moment to be with anyone and everyone who needs help or guidance. She donates to countless numbers of causes because she has such a beautiful heart. She is just so selfless and so giving. I can only pray to be one-quarter of the woman she is some day. She is truly my best friend in the whole world and I am so proud to be her daughter.”

    In addition to her work she does at WLWT, Martella does speaking engagements and outreach efforts, although COVID has put a damper on the in-person speaking world. 

    One of those outreach efforts is a 5-step model called the “Rise Up” model. “It’s proven to help people overcome extreme obstacles and seize opportunities,” she says. “I like to share this model with others, in hopes that it can help them as well.”

    While COVID has halted in-person events, Martella says that she’s been able to utilize technology to do virtual speaking events and continue to share her story with others.

    Additionally, Martella is on the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana’s southern Ohio Region and, as a Wish Kid, she enjoys being able to sit on the board for an organization that also helped her. 

    To continue her outreach, Martella is launching a podcast with her friend Nicole Dambro. The podcast, she says, is geared toward breaking down any information barriers that people with chronic illness might experience and to help people know they are not alone.

    “Ironically, Nicole has the same type of illness I have,” says Martella. “How we met was fate: She lives in LA, I live here in Cincinnati, and we were seated at the same table for a mutual friend of ours’ wedding a year and a half ago. We got to talking, and realized we deal with the same situation. We stayed in touch and through the last year and a half, we have both undergone emergency surgeries related to our illness.”

    Martella credits Nicole with making it through some of her health obstacles this past spring, and appreciates the support system she has found in her friend. Those shared experiences inspired them to create the podcast “Girls With Guts Podcast.” 

    Martella says the podcast will be launching in the New Year and their Instagram page is currently available for you to stay tuned to for announcements.

    You can find Martella on WLWT Channel 5 Monday through Friday from 4:30-7am. 

    “I work with some of the most talented and incredible people and journalists in the entire world,” says Martella. “They are such hard-working individuals. Though they are co-workers, they are also friends and family. I love the WLWT team so much and am so proud to be a part of it.”

    To learn more about Martella, you can keep up with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter