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Catching Up with Sugar Land

By Ashley Lancaster

In celebration of our 10th anniversary and our final issue, Sugar Land Magazine caught up with a few inspiring Fort Bend people we’ve spotlighted over the years. Today, these individuals are living their dreams all while inspiring and empowering others to do the same

Written by Kennan Buckner

Marcia Holmes – Cancer Survivor
Marcia Holmes’ life has changed since she shared her story with Sugar Land Magazine in 2012. Holmes finds herself in a “new normal” as her battle with cancer has transitioned into a slow-moving recovery process. “During 2013, I had three reconstructive surgeries and went from wearing a wig to having very short hair,” says Holmes. “I was thrown into chemotherapy-induced menopause – which brings all sorts of changes.” She has come to accept that follow-up doctor appointments are a normal part of the survivor’s life. Today, she in cancer-free. “Whenever I begin to feel worried or overwhelmed, I just turn it over to God,” says Holmes. “He always gives me the hope and strength that I need to carry on-that is one thing that hasn’t changed.”

Marcia Holmes 3

Marcia Holmes is a cancer survivor and mother who shared her story with us in 2012

James Thompson – City of Sugar Land Mayor
Sugar Land Magazine first visited with Mayor James Thompson in 2008 after he was newly elected into office. As a resident of Sugar Land since 1978, Thompson has seen the growth of the city explode throughout the years. “We’ve worked hard to establish ourselves as a destination location through the expansion of cultural and entertainment venues,” says Thompson. The Sugar Land Skeeters, Sugar Land Town Square, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land are a few of those attractions. “We have an active, involved citizenry that is passionate about Sugar Land’s continued success,” says Thompson. “Their hard work makes all of our accomplishments possible.

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We visited with Mayor James Thompson in 2008 after he was newly re-elected into office

Addison Marshall – Leukemia Survivor
In our winter 2011 issue, Sugar Lander and Foster High School football player Addison Marshall shared his story with us. An unexpected diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia had stunned his family and left Marshall fighting for his life. Today, Marshall is a junior at Texas A&M University studying to become a physical therapy technician and is doing well. “I have had no issues relating back to my treatment and diagnosis,” says Marshall. “I was getting monthly blood checks and quarterly spinal taps and now just have a checkup three times a year.” Marshall is the director for activities for the physical therapy society at A&M and currently works in physical therapy. With his future goals ahead of him, Marshall says, “The fact that I still have more time here is a blessing.”

Addison Marshall and mom

Addison Marshall is a childhood cancer survivor who shared his story with us in 2011 and is a junior at Texas A&M University


Amanda Evora – Olympic Skater
In our previous feature with Amanda Evora, she was just coming off the ice of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics where she had placed 10th with her partner Mark Ladwig. In 2012 after her decision to retire, Evora embarked on a new journey – finishing her business degree at the University of South Florida. In 2013, she starred in the reality TV series Battle of the Blades. “The show is similar to Dancing with the Stars, where my partner and I competed against seven other couples to win the title and raise awareness and money for a charity of our choice.” Evora is now living in Florida and working as a coach to help assist a U.S. pair team who qualified for the 2014 Olympics.

Amanda Evora, on Battle of the Blades, by Insight Production

Evora was featured in our 2010 issue, and starred in the TV series, Battle of the Blades

Mark and Erin Serice – Building a Forever Family
In 2011, Mark and Erin Serice along with other families shared their heart for adoption. The Serice’s are the proud parents to their three adopted children Mary, Monica, and Benedict, as well as their biological son Timothy. “From a young age, we’ve discussed with our children that they are all unique and special, and that God planned all of them to be in our family,” says Erin. So last year when the family found a dog Belle and ended up adopting her, too, her oldest daughter Mary, 9, asked, “Did we adopt Belle?” When they answered “Yes,” Mary told them, “God always knew she was supposed to be in our family.” The family still calls Sugar Land home and is involved in St. Theresa Catholic Church, La Leche League, and American Heritage Girls.

Erin and Mark Serice with kids

The Serice family shared their heart for adoption with us in 2011, and are proud parents of their four children

Kent and Tanya Whitaker – Family and Forgiveness
In the summer 2010 issue, we featured Kent and Tanya Whitaker whose story of forgiveness has received worldwide recognition – from appearances on Oprah, speaking engagements across the nation, and Bible studies led at River Pointe Church in Richmond. Kent’s eldest son Bart is on death row for hiring the gunman who killed his mom Tricia, his younger brother Kevin, and wounded his father Kent in 2003. In the past decade, Kent has found working with his wife Tanya and Bigger Picture Ministries a life-fulfilling dream. “Bigger Picture Ministries is all about encouraging others in their life stories through mentoring and teaching the truths in the Bible,” shares Tanya. “We have found that no matter what has been written in your story thus far, there is nothing that can’t be redeemed and restored by God.”

Kent and Tanya visit Bart in prison regularly. “Our relationship has grown so much since his return from Mexico,” says Kent. “For one thing, he started opening up about the things that were bothering him inside which led to the tragedy.” As the couple helps encourage others worldwide, they still call Sugar Land home. “Sugar Land is the best,” says Tanya. “We appreciate the diversity of our community and the willingness of people to come together to serve each other and those in need.”

SLM_F_13_Kent and Tanya Whitaker_downtown Richmond photo by Marcus Buckner 2

Since their feaure in the summer 2010 issue, Tanya and Kent have worked together for their organization Bigger Picture Ministries

Michele Fisher – Voiceover Artist
We first visited with Michele Fisher back in our spring 2008 issue when she was on 96.5 Sam Malone in the Morning. After spending 18 years as an on-air personality, Fisher started her own business called Michele Fisher Voice Overs. “I own my own studio right here in Sugar Land where I voice and produce commercial and corporate work on a daily basis,” says Fisher. “It’s the coolest new journey.” As a Sugar Land resident for over 15 years, Fisher says there is “a real sense of community.” She has helped host events in Sugar Land Town Square, and participated in fundraisers for Child Advocates of Fort Bend, the Fort Bend Junior Service League, and more. “I’m always so amazed and so proud at the outpouring of support for others, and you feel it when you’re out and about – the people and families engaging, embracing, and supporting one another.” SLM

small - asked for bigger, michele fisher

Fisher started her own voiceover business in Sugar Land after we visited with her as an on-air personality on 96.5 in 2008

KENNAN BUCKNER still remembers the first time she saw Sugar Land Magazine when she moved to the area in 2010 and is proud to have
been part of sharing the community’s stories.

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