More Good News: Supplemental Health, DI & Long Term Care Conference

Dear Gordon & Jill Viggiano :

I want to thank you for the wonderful presentation you two did at our Supplemental Health, DI & Long Term Care conference. You were wonderfully inspiring!

Several people I spoke with thought that you were terrific. You reminded them of “why they do what they do”, which is wonderful because home office people sometimes get disconnected from the people who their products are designed to help.

You are a testament to “never giving up” and keeping the faith! Conference attendees were very appreciate of having a copy of Painful Blessing –which I highly recommended. Jill’s book journaling your recovery was a difficult and heartwarming story.

The feedback we gathered from our attendee survey was very positive too. We certainly hope to have you and Jill join us at another conference we host.



Stacey D. Quance | CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, ALMI, ACS
Sr. Associate Information Operations & Information Management | LIMRA | LOMA6190 Powers Ferry Road, Suite 600, Atlanta, GA, 30339
t: (770) 984-6448 |



Aspirin May Not Prevent Stroke in Those Already at Risk

Aspirin May Not Prevent Stroke in Those Already at Risk

Posted by Serena Gordon, HealthDay Reporter

In the first study, taking a daily, low-dose aspirin did little to ward off first strokes or heart attacks in people who smoked, or had high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Meanwhile, a second set of studies discovered the news was just as grim for those with diabetes, as a higher risk for serious bleeding canceled out a modest benefit.

And for those diabetics who might turn to fish oil supplements in lieu of aspirin, those also failed to help guard against heart dangers.

“Aspirin has been our ‘go-to;’ it’s cheap and easy to get. But the benefit here was negated by the bleeding (in the diabetes study),” said Dr. James Catanese, chief of cardiology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. “We may need a better blood thinner.”

In the first study, researchers led by Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a preventive cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed more than 12,500 participants who took either 100 milligrams of aspirin or a placebo every day. All had some other risk factor for possible heart trouble.

After five years, the rate of events such as heart attack and stroke were virtually equal in both groups—269 patients (4.3 percent) in the aspirin group and 281 patients (4.5 percent) in the placebo group. The study was funded by Bayer Co. and published Aug. 26 in The Lancet.

In the diabetes research, which was reported by British researchers as two studies in the Aug. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, people with diabetes were randomly chosen to follow one of four treatments.

One group received 1 gram of fish oil and 100 milligrams of aspirin daily. Another group received fish oil and a placebo instead of aspirin. The third group was given a placebo (filled with olive oil) for fish oil and received active aspirin. The final group received two placebos.

The average follow-up time was nearly 7.5 years. During that time, 8.9 percent of those given the fish oil and 9.2 percent of those given a fish oil placebo had serious vascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke. Death rates were also similar between the two groups. Both studies received funding from the British Heart Foundation and Bayer.

“Aspirin and fish oil are not a panacea to prevent cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes,” said Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

“My message to people with diabetes is that treating high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and high blood sugar from the get-go — along with healthy lifestyle changes—is important,” said Zonszein, who was not involved in the research.

Dr. Louise Bowman, who led the fish oil study, said, “Previous research has shown no benefit of fish oil supplements for other types of patients at increased risk of cardiovascular events. Our findings are in line with this, and so we don’t believe that there is any justification for recommending fish oil supplements to protect against cardiovascular events.”

She added that other studies have shown that there doesn’t appear to be a benefit to fish oil supplements for people who’ve already had a heart attack either. Bowman is a professor of medicine and clinical trials at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health in England.
Aspirin fared somewhat better among those with diabetes. The rate of serious vascular events was 8.5 percent for people taking aspirin and 9.6 percent for those taking a placebo. That means aspirin reduced the risk of a serious event by 12 percent.

However, that good news was countered by the risk of major bleeding. Slightly over 4 percent of people taking aspirin had a major bleeding event (including bleeding in the brain, eye and digestive system). Just 3.2 percent of those taking a placebo had any serious bleeding. Aspirin increased the risk of bleeding by 29 percent, the study found.

Dr. Jane Armitage, senior author of the aspirin/diabetes study, said, “We showed clearly that aspirin reduces the risk of vascular events, including heart attacks, strokes, and mini-strokes; however, it also increased the risk of major bleeds, mainly from the GI tract, so overall there was no clear benefit.”

Armitage said the finding provides “much needed clarity” about whether or not to recommend aspirin to people with diabetes who haven’t had a heart attack. She said for people already taking known safe treatments such as cholesterol and blood pressure medicine to prevent heart disease and stroke, “there is no added benefit of taking aspirin.”

Armitage noted that aspirin is still recommended for people who’ve already had events such as a heart attack or stroke. She is a professor of clinical trials and epidemiology at Oxford University.

Catanese, who wasn’t involved in any of the studies, said he wasn’t surprised by the fish oil findings.
“I think there’s a benefit to eating fish, not just fish oil. There’s something in the food that we may not be able to put in a pill or a capsule,” he said.

Like Zonszein, Catanese recommended that people with diabetes eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and keep good control of their diabetes to prevent heart disease. Control of cholesterol and blood pressure is also very important for people with diabetes, he said.

The findings were presented at the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting, in Munich, Germany.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

I Thought I was Horrible!

I hate to say it, but I really thought that I didn’t do very well.  It started out with the slides.  I fumbled through this:

 Can you guess how old I was?   (PAUSE ….Wait for someone to say 51) I was 51 years old.  That is amazing; I thought it and you said it. (PAUSE)  We are in synch…


But I figured I would amaze them with this:

I was a young, healthy, active, non-smoking, non-drinking- mostly non- drinking – normal cholesterol man, just like this guy! (point, Laugh)

The laughs were minimal.  I didn’t know what to do!

I made a few other mistakes along the way, but they weren’t intentional. I just couldn’t remember where I was in the talk.   You would think that after 500 + times, I would know where I was .  Nope.

Maybe that is what they expect?  I don’t know. The laughs were minimal, but I did get a standing ovation.  I couldn’t believe it!  Do people know what to do when they see me fumbling??  Do they think they shouldn’t laugh?

Then Jill delivered a flawless presentation …and she got only a few laughs.

But crowd that gathered around us was filled with people thanking us for sharing our faith.   The talk was extremely humbling.

I will find out if I was really HORRIBLE when I speak to my contacts this week.  I will let you know.

Healthy Eating As We Get Older


A Senior’s Guide to Healthy Eating

By Brenda Snow

Healthy eating and understanding nutritional requirements are important at any age, but it can be especially important for seniors. Seniors have unique nutritional needs, but also specific dietary considerations that need to be accounted for when it comes to the foods they’re eating. As people age, their metabolism slows down, which means that for most older people they need fewer calories than they did when they were younger. It’s not just changes in metabolism that are important to understand when it comes the healthy eating for seniors, however.

As we age, our bodies change and considerations to keep in mind with senior nutritional needs can include the gastrointestinal system and dental conditions. There are also certain lifestyle elements for seniors that may play a role in their diet and nutrition.

If seniors aren’t eating a healthy, balanced diet, it can wreak havoc on their immune system, making them more susceptible to common illnesses like the flu, as well as more serious conditions. It can also lead to weight gain or weight loss, and seniors who aren’t eating a healthy diet may have reduced cognitive function and lower energy levels. It’s not uncommon for older people to experience malnutrition, in varying degrees, often because of eating too little, deficiencies in certain nutrients, or an imbalance in the diet. Even a mild level of malnutrition can lead to fatigue, lethargy, and a lack of interest in other areas of health and wellness.

For seniors who make healthy eating an essential part of their life, they’re more likely to enjoy a stronger immune system, better overall health, and a stronger quality of life.

To help seniors, their families and their caregivers ensure they’re making the right nutritional choices, I put together this guide. My goal with this guide is to help seniors live a fulfilling life, starting with a foundation of good nutrition. From the limitations that can cause seniors to have poor nutrition, to easy tips to incorporate healthy foods into your lifestyle or the lifestyle of your loved one, this guide has a lot of information that I hope will be valuable to you.

Do you want to see some more good news?

WOW…I was amazed by the kind words of the people attending.  They did a survey of the conference attendees…and this is what they said.  I included “Gordon and Jill Viggiano were excellent” only one time because it was said by SO MANY people:

It was all good, but the Viggiano’s personal story of overcoming his stroke really drove home the importance of what we do. Very moving!

Behavioral Economics, Brain Has a Hole In It

Gordon and Jill Viggiano were excellent!  (A lot of people said this!)

Great presentation. Inspirational.

Amazing story; very inspiring!

The general session with the Viggiano’s was incredible.

Spoke greatly to my day to day in communicating the importance of a DI policy.

Very inspiring. Good choice to have someone speaks who has benefited from one of our products.

Amazing and inspiring story!!

I am going through something similar with my husband so this hits home.  I’m going to share the info with him.

Very thought provoking!  Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your story and vulnerability. It’s a poignant reminder of why we do the work we do.

Very moving!

Such a powerful story!  I enjoyed both aspects. Nobody is immune so being protected is so important.

Very moving and it tells as excellent story as to why insurance is so important.

Very inspiring. Good choice to have someone speaks who has benefited from one of our products.

Very inspiration, touching and motivating. People with different abilities can still be contributing members of society and Gordon is living proof.  Never give up!  You both are amazing! I’m glad you had the disability coverage to help you financially. Keep the faith and continue to inspire others!

This was a wonderful presentation!

Good News!

I felt good after my speech, but I always wonder how people feel about me sharing my faith.  I received this email:

Gordon and Jill it was a wonderful honor and blessing to hear your story and meet you in San Diego.  Thank you very much for your strength and perseverance.  I started reading your book last night and got to the section about day 8 post stroke.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the story.  As I mentioned when I met you, thank you for sharing your faith and being strong witnesses.  It’s always encouraging to see God’s love at work in the lives of others.  May God continue to richly bless you and your son and daughter.  Best wishes for continued success! –


Another speech….

I kicked off Day 2 of the Supplemental Health , DI & LTC Conference. Afterwards, I got ANOTHER standing ovation.

I know what you are thinking.  I you are going to keep getting standing ovations, what don’t you hire a photographer to capture that.  The answer: I don’t know.  As they were standing, I thought “We should be capturing this.” But then I didn’t do anything but SMILE.   I have a picture of me smiling:

Fortunately, Stephanie Turgeon took a picture of me:

They are doing evaluations on the conference. I check with my client next week if they can share them with me. I’ll let you know…

Listen To Our* New PodCast with Roni Sasaki

My friend, Jake French, Introduced my to Roni Sasaki.  She does interviews with people like Jake who have gone through the unimaginable but have come back with a strong purpose. Although my experience is VERY different, Jake thought that it would be of interest to her listeners.  After listening, please tell me your impression??

* The word OUR really means Jill!!!

A Leg Up On Life by Roni Sasaki

For more info about Roni, please click here

Is there anything else you need???

In preparing for my speech next week, the person asked how I would like the stage to be set up.   This should straight forward, right?  So I wrote the following:

I would like a laptop on the table with plugs for the sound system.

What am I talking about? 10 years after my stroke, I STILL have trouble with this.  So I asked Jill to help me.  Effortlessly, she said:

I need a podium to stand at so I can read my speech from my iPad.  A lapel microphone is important so I can move around a little.  Nearby, I will need a table that can hold my laptop. With that, I can see what is on the screen behind me and advance the slides.  Also, my laptop needs to plug into the projector and the sound system.

Holy cow…my sentence did NOT give what I needed…even though I have given this speech over 500 times!   You would think I would know that and have a work around?

When I go over my set up with the client, I have a checklist of what I need.  But this time someone different ASKING me what I need again…. it is very tough to say without going through my checklist.  So, I tried to say it…with funny results.   Now, I have it ….just in case anyone asks!