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Monday, 31 October 2016

Medical Expert: Zika & Pregnancy

Sunday, 30 October 2016


Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Yolanda, the ballet instructor with a heart and a mission.

, the ballet instructor with a heart and a mission.
Interview by Stella Matilda | Photograph by Donny Lai

A ballet instructor who has a vision that can bring Sabahan ballerinas towards the International level such as to perform professionally as a Ballet Artist on world stage. Being a Managing Director of Yolanda Dance Studio, for myself, working alone can only bring me a short distance but working as a team, such as I am building now can go far beyond what we expected.

Holding some big responsibilities on educating all of my students and building their passion for dancing is not as easy as learning ABC. It is quite a challenge to be nonstop encouraging my students and, at the same time, motivating myself.

Beth James is always my role model. She is the Director of The Conservatoire of Classical Ballet in Perth, Western Australia. During my stay in Australia, she has been continuously supporting my everyday training, building up my confidence and stimulating my dancing skills.

Once she told me “If you have the flexibility but with no strength, you are imperfect”, “If you have strength but with no flexibility, you are also imperfect” “So you must have both”.

My beloved parents. They have encouraged me since I was very young. They not only supported me financially but also physically and spiritually. On December 2015, I received Yolanda Dance Studio as my Christmas present from my dad. My dearest mom has tailored made all of my ballet costumes. I appreciate every gift from my parents.


To become a ballerina, you must show your commitment towards your training, be well prepared before the class starts, always wear a positive attitude at every correction and enjoy the very moment in class. “Dare to dream, then you’ll achieve”.


I wish to give opportunities to all the children who have always wanted to learn ballet but are facing poverty. For example, conducting ballet lessons to single parents’ families and in orphanages. Also, I wish to support the needy in terms of a Scholarship to further their Ballet Dream to a higher level.

Yolanda Dance Studio is located at Plaza 333 and currently offering a wide range of classes for ages from 3 years old and above. They also have just launched Ballet Boys for their January 2017 in-take.

Should you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact Yolanda at 016-831 1570 or simply visit her studio.

Don't forget to follow her on Facebook for more updates and information!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Breast Cancer: Risk, Diagnosis and Treatment.


“A large group of disease characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal
cell which is not checked results in death.”

1) Getting older
The older a woman gets, the higher is her risk of developing breast cancer; age is a risk factor. Over 80% of all female breast cancers occur among women aged 50+ years (after the menopause).

2) Genetics
Women who have a close relative who has/had breast or ovarian cancer are more likely to develop breast cancer. If two close family members develop the disease, it does not necessarily mean they shared the genes that make them more vulnerable, because breast cancer is a relatively common cancer. The majority of breast cancers are not hereditary.

Women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a considerably higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. These genes can be inherited. TP53, another gene, is also linked to greater breast cancer risk.

3) A history of breast cancer
Women who have had breast cancer, even non-invasive cancer, are more likely to develop the disease again, compared to women who have no history of the disease.

4) Having had certain types of breast lumps
Women who have had some types of benign (non-cancerous) breast lumps are more likely to develop cancer later on. Examples include a typical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.

5) Dense breast tissue
Women with denser breast tissue have a greater chance of developing breast cancer.

6) Estrogen exposure
Women who started having periods earlier or entered menopause later than usual have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is because their bodies have been exposed to estrogen for longer. Estrogen exposure begins when periods start, and drops dramatically during the menopause.

7) Obesity
Post-menopausal obese and overweight women may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Experts say that there are higher levels of estrogen in obese menopausal women, which may be the cause of the higher risk.

8) Height
Taller-than-average women have a slightly greater likelihood of developing breast cancer than shorter-than-average women. Experts are not sure why.

9) Alcohol consumption
The more alcohol a woman regularly drinks, the higher her risk of developing breast cancer is. The Mayo Clinic says that if a woman wants to drink, she should not exceed one alcoholic beverage per day.

10) Radiation exposure
Undergoing X-rays and CT scans may raise a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer slightly. Scientists at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that women who had been treated with radiation to the chest for a childhood cancer have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

11) HRT (hormone replacement therapy)
Both forms, combined and estrogen-only HRT therapies may increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer slightly. Combined HRT causes a higher risk.

1) Breast examination
The physician will check both the patient’s breasts, looking out for lumps and other possible abnormalities, such as inverted nipples, nipple discharge, or change in breast shape. The patient will be asked to sit/stand with her arms in different positions, such as above her head and by her sides.

2) X-ray (mammogram)
Commonly used for breast cancer screening. If anything unusual is found, the doctor may order a mammogram. High risk ladies should have first mammogram at the age of 45 years old. For normal population, suggested after the age of 50 years old.

3) Breast ultrasound

This type of scan may help doctors decide whether a lump or abnormality is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.

1) Lumpectomy 
Surgically removing the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue around it. In breast cancer, this is often called breast-sparing surgery. This type of surgery may be recommended if the tumor is small and the surgeon believes it will be easy to separate from the tissue around it.

2) Mastectomy 
Surgically removing the breast. Simple mastectomy involves removing the lobules, ducts, fatty
tissue, nipple, areola, and some skin. Radical mastectomy means also removing muscle of the chest wall and the lymph nodes in the armpit.

3) Breast reconstruction surgery 
A series of surgical procedures aimed at recreating a breast so that it looks as much as possible like the other breast. This procedure may be carried out at the same time as a mastectomy. The surgeon may use a breast implant, or tissue from another part of the patient’s body.

4) Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
Controlled doses of radiation are targeted at the tumor to destroy the cancer cells. Usually, radiotherapy is used after surgery, as well as chemotherapy to kill off any cancer cells that may still be around. Typically, radiation therapy occurs about one month after surgery or chemotherapy. Each session lasts a few minutes; the patient may require three to five sessions per week for three to six weeks.

The oncologist will decide the radiation treatment that she may have to undergo based of the stage of breast cancer the woman has. In some cases, radiotherapy is not needed

5) Chemotherapy
Medications are used to kill the cancer cells - these are called cytotoxic drugs. The oncologist may recommend chemotherapy depending on the stage of the cancer.

Neo adjuvant is chemotherapy given before surgery to downstage the tumor.
Adjuvant is chemotherapy given after surgery.

• Reducing risk is WITHIN OUR CONTROL
• Take initiative to control your life style with:
• Regular EXERCISE
• Avoiding excessive SUN exposure; Use sun barrier cream
• STOP smoking
• REDUCE food fat content
• REDUCE red meat
• Eat MORE vegetables & fruit
• REDUCE alcohol consumption
• Regular SCREENING for colorectal, breast, cervical & prostate cancer

For more information, please contact KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital at 088-322 000. Find them at Lorong Bersatu, Off Jalan Damai, Luyang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Website:

For the complete article about this subject can be read on this October to December 2016 issue of Parents Avenue Magazine. 
*Disclaimer: All information is for your general reference only. We (Parents Avenue) do not accept any responsibility whatsoever in respect of such information. 

What is IVF?


In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside of the body. The process involves monitoring a women’s ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova (egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium in a laboratory, and then transferring it to the patient’s uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.

Let us look at the problem of infertility as a whole. It is common and you are not alone. One in 6 couples in the UK has this problem. In Malaysia it occurs in 15% per cent of the population. If we take a school class room of 30 students, 5 of us in the class will face this problem. It is common and you are not alone. The good news is that half of this group will conceived using simple advice or treatment. The other 50% will require advanced techniques like IUI and IVF.

So, how does IVF increase your chance of having a baby more than the natural success rate? During IVF, we will increase the number of mature eggs. (In IVF we will increase your number of eggs from 5 to 15 eggs). IVF increases your chance to fertilize using ICSI technique. Therefore, we will have more embryos and a wider choice to select the better quality embryos. Thereafter we will transfer the embryos and place them at the most suitable spot… at the upper third of uterus. Lastly we will increase the endometrium receptivity for the embryos to settle and implant.

How do we increase the number of mature eggs? It is by controlled Ovarian Stimulation. In IVF we do not want a dominant follicle. Instead we will stimulate all the follicles to maturity so that we will have 5 to 15 eggs. When the follicle matures to 18- 20mm size, an ovulation injection is given. After the ovulation injection, the eggs will be picked up 34 to 36 hours later.

In IVF cycles all the eggs will be fertilized using ICSI technique. This is to ensure that all the eggs will be fertilized instead of leaving fertilization to chance.

Two days later, 2 or 3 embryos will be transferred into the uterine cavity. This transfer will be done under ultrasound guidance so that the embryos will be placed at the best suitable position.

After the embryo transfer, progesterone is needed to make the endometrium receptive. IVF patients will require progesterone support until 12 weeks by injection and vaginal pessary. The vaginal pessary is most important.

And if everything goes well, after 8 weeks of embryo transfer ET, you will see your fetus moving on ultrasound.

In summary, how does IUI and IVF affect your fertility rate? A normal women at age 25 has a fertility rate of approximately 30%. If you do not get pregnant after one year of trying, your chances of conceiving is a mere 1%. IUI increases the fertility rate to 15%. If you opt for IVF your success rate will rise to 40% - 65%.

For more information about this topic, kindly get in touch with Dr. Gavin from Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu Hospital. Tel: 088-518 888. Visit their website:

For the complete article about this subject can be read on this October to December 2016 issue of Parents Avenue Magazine. 
*Disclaimer: All information is for your general reference only. We (Parents Avenue) do not accept any responsibility whatsoever in respect of such information. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

We Are Hiring! Business Development Executive.

Job Position: 
Development Executive

We are a young, dynamic and fast-moving company; the ideal fit would be a candidate who is ambitious and keen to have genuine influence – helping to shape the growth of the business’s future.

The successful candidate will be responsible for seeking out and developing new business with a consultative approach to selling. They should be commercially astute and have excellent communication skills, with a proven record in generating revenue.

Business Development Executive Key Responsibilities will include:

• Generating leads and efficiently keeping in regular contact with existing prospects
• Presenting to senior decision makers of clients and prospects (NBD’s, MD’s and CEO’s)
• Understanding and keeping up-to-date with constant developments in the communications industry and agency market
• Identifying areas for expansion and development
• Developing a targeted long-term new business strategy
• Create weekly/monthly forecasts on revenue/target management and end of month reports on revenue and market performance
• Delivering against these targets to ensure revenue expectations are met
• Inputting into sales and marketing collateral – how the business positions itself for various audiences
• Maximising networking opportunities and regularly using conferences, events and trade shows to increase awareness and develop a further network of contacts


• With experience between 1-2 years in Sales & Marketing would be a bonus.
• Own a valid driving licence, can drive and own a vehicle.
• Fluent in English both written and spoken.
• Ability to build rapport immediately.
• Reliable, trustworthy and honest.
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
• Pleasant looking and polite.
• A tenacious 'can do’ approach.
• Ability to work independently with excellent time management skills
• Accuracy and attention to detail -takes pride in their work.

Work Hours: 9.00am - 5.00pm

Work Days: Monday to Friday (Weekends only when required)
Salary: > RM1200 + Commision 

Our office is located at Inanam Capital, Inanam Kolombong. Interested candidate can email resume to or call 088-394709. 

Fitness Mom: 5 Minutes 30 Days Challenge

The 5 Minutes 30 Days Challenge.

By Ira Rasmadin

Take 5 minutes of your time to get fit in 30 days! This challenge is designed to put your body under tension to maximize fat burn. With 40 seconds work and 20 seconds recovery time, your body will compensate the oxygen used during your workout up to 48 hours after each session.

That means, you will continue to burn fat for the whole 30 days just as long as you continue to workout according to the exercises specified in the next table. You do not have to worry about muscle damage as all of the exercises are simple and are spaced apart. It will give your body plenty enough amount of time to recover before you hit the same body parts again.

To participate in the challenge is simple.

All you need to do is put hashtag #the5minutechallenge Hashtag to participate on every photo or video you post on Instagram. I’ll be browsing all posts from time to time and announce one winner on my page.

Gorgeous Planner to be won!

One lucky person will be selected randomly each month to receive gorgeous planner I created as well as fitness and nutrition program, altered specifically to her goal.

I hope more women, regardless of age would feel more empowered to take a step forward towards her fitter self with this challenge.

So hurry up and make your first hashtag! I’ll be looking forward to your posts!

The 5 Minutes 30 Days Challenge - SAVE THIS PHOTO, PRINT IT & HASHTAG! 

Follow Ira Rasmadin on Facebook  and on Instagram @ira_fitnessmom for more inspirational updates. You can also get in touch with her if you need advice or information about certain movements.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Exclusive Interview: Daphne Iking - Career, Baby No.3 and Managing Priorities

Daphne Iking opens up about why she kept her pregnancy a secret, the challenges of motherhood and how she manages her priorities.

Award winning actress and TV personality Daphne Iking leads a hectic life. Besides hosting, producing and emceeing, the co-founder of both Lebosi Sdn Bhd and BigIDIA is also an advocate for solar powered products and consults corporate leaders in Media Handling and Public Speaking. Often seen on and off screen, either walking the red carpet or hosting high profiled events and shows, one would think her life is full of glitz and glam.

But this mother of three says it is far from that and her daily vlogs on her YouTube channel are testament to this. Daphne Iking opens up to Parent Avenue about the challenges of pregnancy number three, how she copes with her career and demands while staying true to herself.

Photographs by Joe Lebosi | Interview by Stella Matilda

We’re thrilled to find out about your newborn baby! Congratulations! How did your daughters react when they first meet their little baby brother?
Thank you! They’ve been looking forward in meeting him. We sort of guessed his gender as my gynae (who was more excited upon knowing I was carrying a son!) hinted strongly to us (when we asked her to keep the sex a secret). So the girls placed bets on what his gender was going to be. Isobel guessed correctly.

When Azmi took them to see us that very same day, they were excited and curious at the same time, especially Iman — who has been the baby of the family for awhile. I prepared them for the baby — we read my pregnancy books, watched birthing videos, got them involved in our antenatal visits with the doctor … so seeing the baby for the first time was as equally exciting for them as it was for us.

What do you love most about your pregnancy journey?
I kept this pregnancy a secret upon finding out. He was a little surprise for us as we thought we’d stop at Iman, so when I found out I was pregnant, I had confirmed shoots and emcee gigs lined up so we kept it off social media etc as I did not want to “frighten” our clients away. (I think you read my article about me being discriminated during my previous pregnancy right? If you haven’t, here’s the link:

Photograph by Joe Lebosi

So, I suppose what I loved (and hated) about the pregnancy was the challenge of keeping it hush. Only family and close friends knew. Being the third pregnancy, I started showing prominently upon month 5. My designer friends helped me get clothes that disguised my bump but eventually, upon my 8 month, there is only so much “disguising” one can do. So when the cat was out of the bag, it was nice that most of my clients and producers were ok with me being pregnant (only concerned that I would be exhausted). And so, the day before my surgery, we published my eldest daughter’s pregnancy vlog announcement on my Youtube channel. The day I was wheeled in for surgery, we uploaded a picture of me pregnant so many of my social media followers were shocked. A few hours later, my husband uploaded my son’s picture.

It was interesting to see the reaction of acquaintances and strangers alike upon the news of our new addition. There were strangers who follow me on my social media pages and when they saw me on the streets pregnant, they’d ‘scold’ me for not sharing the news over social media. That compelled me to keep the pregnancy off social media even more - their ‘scoldings’ made me realise that I don’t owe anyone an explanation for everything I do in my life. Some things are nice to be kept a secret. A special moment for those who truly matter.

Photograph by Joe Lebosi

What’s been your hardest mom moment so far?

Being fair to all three of my children AND making sure daddy is not left behind too. I had problems with my domestic helper and we had to finally let her go and do without any help. So juggling quality time with all three children (and you would know how demanding being a fully breastfeeding mother to a newborn can be!), looking after the household and managing my career PLUS making sure hubby does not feel neglected, does put a toll on you.

With baby number three, losing weight has been quite challenging and because I’m in an industry where one has certain expectations in losing those post pregnancy pounds fast (thanks to all those hot Hollywood stars who make it look so easy!), it’s been depressing to say the least that the extra weight is just not budging! So that DOES get to me too.

What is the best part of your day?
I wake up at 5am to get the first housechores done and to prepare the children’s meals and to send them to school while pumping, so Isidore has enough supply when I’m out and about and daddy has to look after him. Then by 8am, I’ve sent both children to school and it’s time for the little ones bath and feed. In and out of the day is more housechores, preparation of meals, feeding and work. So by midnight, my energy is truly spent.

But that would be the BEST part of the day - having had a warm bath once all kids are asleep and knowing I’ve done the best for everyone. There’s a clean house, prepared meals for everyone (and everyone has different meal requirements!) and another day has come and gone and the kids and husband are happy. THAT is the best part of the day. Knowing I’ve done my best for the family when I watch them all sound asleep.

Photograph by Joe Lebosi

Up to 80% of new mothers’ experience the baby blues, what are your advice?
I did. During my second pregnancy, only I didn’t know it then till I confided in a friend. Iman was a colicky child and was crying day in day out. My mother was not able to be with me throughout my confinement as she was still working then (mum lives in Sabah), so I was pretty much alone then and I didn’t think I should ‘bother’ my husband with my concerns. I was just so exhausted but felt I needed to keep up and when I could not manage my expectations, I was feeling very, very depressed. I recall throwing a wailing Iman on the bed when she refused to stop crying, and that was when I knew I had gone too far and that I needed to talk to someone soon.

For Isidore, because my gynae knew about my symptoms, she reminded me about the changes my body and emotions would be going through and that it was extremely okay to get other people to help me out with the older siblings and housework. I think because my mother (who actually took a confinement course so she would be able to look after both my sister and I during our confinement) was with me and my husband was extremely caring and supportive during recovery, it helped a LOT! My advice is to allow those who offer to help, to help. Take up the offers and sleep as much as you can.

It would be extremely helpful if you actually have the luxury of a helper or a confinement lady to assist you and the baby. Your body has gone through quite a deal and you need to recuperate. I love my two older girls, but I knew I could not be a superhero and try being there for them too.

Thank God they understood and I spend short but quality time with them. Their father took them off my hands so I could rest as much as I could in between feeding and looking after Isidore. Finally, post partum blues does happen. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Don’t be shy. You are not alone.

How do you feel about being a working mom?
Because I enjoy what I do most of the time, it does not feel like work per se. But days when thing get a bit hectic, and everything and everyone is suddenly a priority, it does get to me — especially now without a helper, so my husband and I need to sort our schedules so we are able to take turns looking after the kids.

The children and he have chipped in with house chores, so that helps A LOT. But I love working although there are days when I wished I didn’t have to work because I’d rather just be home with the children and keeping the house in order.

Photograph by Joe Lebosi

You’ve been diligent in your vlogs (video logs) and you portray not just your life, but the family too. Why daily vlogs? and aren’t you worried about over sharing with cyber crime on the rise?

My first intention on producing YouTube videos was to make sure my production skills in camerawork and editing were not going to waste. Why daily vlogs? I was inspired by other well-known Youtubers and just like how I post pictures of the family and I on my social media , the vlog is also now my gallery of memorable family videos which I can view online anytime, anywhere.

My husband and I want to keep our vlogs as real as possible, but we are aware of the dangers of over sharing. So, just like how we take precautions in posting pictures, we do the same with our videos. We don’t reveal certain details like our home address and where the kids school are etc. And because there are sick people out there, we don’t show the kids in the shower or naked. Otherwise, it’s pixelated. The girls are aware of being filmed – I know some who say it is unfair for us parents to post our kids photos and videos as it invades their privacy since they are too young to object ; so I have that in mind too and must be thoughtful – if that was me in their shoes, am I going to appreciate my parents showing that to the world 20 years down the road?

Are there specific types of women you’re drawn to?
I like the strong, kind silent types. Like my mother. She’s gone through quite a journey but she’s always so calm and kind. Strong and patient. She’s also a go-getter and does not give up easily. Extremely independent and passionate about what she believes in.

What is your advice for moms who are striving to do it all?
I always get asked, how do you juggle work and motherhood. I think you don’t have a choice. You just DO. So when you ask me advice on women who want it all - you CAN have it all but not necessarily DO it all. Most have help in some form or another - be it a part time cleaner or nanny, to a personal aide or secretary to assist you.

I entrust those near and dear to help me. My husband manages me. As soon as the kids are able to understand instructions, they assist with house chores and have a routine that is flexible, but somewhat still a schedule that they adhere too. Since being helper-less, I have a schedule and I make sure everyone keeps to their own chores and if they take something, they must return it to its original place. Or wash up after using a utensil, plate or glass. When it comes to work, have a to-do list and stick to it.

It is so fulfilling ticking off your priorities. Of course, there are days when you can’t keep up, so that’s where prioritising comes in. I don’t tackle emails first. I do what’s glaring at me first. If I open my emails, I will spend an hour or so replying or deleting. I try not to have meetings. I think anything that can be relayed over emails or whatsapp chats is more productive.

Unless I chair the meeting so I have an agenda and stick to it and keep it as short as possible. Most productivity drops due to long meetings that don’t stick to an original agenda. I hate wasting work time. If I want to talk ‘nonsense’, that would be when I’m with my friends just chilling out. But this is my way. Some folks have different ways to manage their time and priorities. To each and their own.

For latest updates, follow Daphne Iking on Facebook & Instagram