Beating the odds

Published 8:50 am Friday, May 6, 2011

Audrey Hart beat the odds.

At age 17, Audrey was diagnosed with Lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system and leads to inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, brain, blood, kidney, joints or skin.

When she was diagnosed in 1983, the normal life expectancy was 21.

Today, at age 45, Audrey continues to fight her battle while promoting National Lupus Day on Tuesday, May 10, as part of National Lupus Month.

“We don’t have any awareness in this area,” said Audrey, noting that 90 percent of victims are women.

The disease left her unable to have a family; having a child may have risked both of their lives.

On disability since 2004, Audrey worked for Union Camp and then Franklin Social Services Department. In 2006, she had her left hip replaced; a year later, she had the same hip replaced.

Audrey takes 16 different medications and attributes her longer-than-life expectancy to Dr. John Mansoor, a rheumatologist in Chesapeake.

She would love to see a local support group; the closest one to Western Tidewater is in Virginia Beach.

If interested, Audrey can be reached at 569-0522.

PublishAmerica has released Franklin native H. Gregory Reid’s first book. Entitled “It’s Time for a Holy Ghost Turn Around in Your Life: Something on the Inside, Showing on the Outside,” the book is about spiritual encouragement.

“The Lord inspired me to encourage his people in 2009,” the 46-year-old said. “Over the past seven years I have encountered some test, trials and obstacles in my spiritual walk. People are going through so many things in their life and spiritual walk with God. There are some people who have gone back to their old ways (sins/ backslide) due to the tricks of the enemy.”

A 1984 graduate of Franklin High School who played tennis and golf, H. Gregory is the son of Margaret Williams Reid of Franklin and the late Bobby Reid Sr. He studied business administration and management at Virginia Union University and became manager for a Kinney Shoes in Richmond.

After selling a pair of Rockports to the director of the Virginia Department of Corrections, Reid so impressed the man that he recruited him for the prison system.

H. Gregory worked on death row at the Greensville Correctional Center in Emporia, and for the past 10 years, has worked at Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth. He is an assistant manager there.

The book is available at The Christian Bookstores in Franklin and Suffolk and Heaven & Earth Christian Store at Chesapeake Square Mall. The book also can be ordered at

• Melinda Ellis, daughter of Pam and Tommy Ellis of Carrsville, is one of 12 students at James Madison University who recently presented research at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research at Ithaca College in New York.

Assessing pH levels, conductivity and chemical ions in Lake Shenandoah, Melinda researches the effects of sediment and nutrient loading. Through evaluating the amount of runoff and nutrient particles in the water, the senior biology and chemistry major can calculate the impact of algae growth and the fish population in the lake east of Harrisonburg.

• Some 90 children participated in the annual Franklin Kiwanis Easter Egg Hunt at the Children’s Center in Franklin. Seven Kiwanis members and staff from the center also joined the event.