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Hooper: Fitness instructor's optimism in fight with cancer has an infectious effect

Shawn Becklund, 11 months after doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer, thanked friends, family and supporters last week with a gathering at Spaghetti Warehouse, which graciously comped the meals for her group.

Becklund, a fitness instructor, exudes so much energy and optimism that people want to revel in it. Jeremy Parker and his wife came with his three kids under 3, including a newborn. Every parent knows that's an incredible tribute. And some 50 others saluted Becklund by showing up.

Becklund is one of those rare people who can lift up others even when her own problems are trying to push her down.

It's not fair to expect such magnanimous gestures from every person facing life's more difficult challenges, but we can admire those who find a way to give of themselves. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: "Life Has No Remote. You Have To Get Off Your Butt To Change It." …

Kudos to Mise En Place proprietors Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz, who are celebrating the restaurant's 30th anniversary with a monthlong celebration in September. Learn more at …

The Bucs open the season Sunday with a must-win. Seriously. It's simply a matter of one of the league's most difficult schedules. With three of their first five games against playoff teams, they can't afford a slow start against the Falcons. ...

Pinellas elected officials are calling for genetically modified mosquitoes, and the science indicates they can help combat the spread of the Zika virus.

I just hope we don't have to bring in genetically modified dragonflies to get rid of the mosquitoes. This could go on and on.

That's all I'm saying.