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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Some people know I work within the Cleveland Clinic Health System. Recently did an article on the institution I found worth sharing here

"The clinic staff tries to set an example: Yoga classes on the roof; exercise facilities; healthier choices in both the staff and public cafeteria; walking routes in the halls and on the grounds; a policy that forbids hiring smokers.

So far, CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove says the staff has lost a combined 75,000 pounds -- an emphasis on wellness that he says will without a doubt lower the hospital's own health care costs.

"Seventy percent of the cost in health care is from chronic disease," Cosgrove told us in an interview at his Cleveland Clinic office. "And chronic diseases come from really three big things -- from obesity, from lack of exercise and from smoking. And it also results in 40 percent of the premature deaths in the United States. So we have to do something as a nation to begin to deal with all those.""

The weight loss is based on the employees who are in the programs offered by the Cleveland Clinic, and does not include people who does it on their own. It will be interesting to see what impact it has long term, because the institution have a sizable sample size to publish outcome data.

You may have read my musings about the scale. Look at yourself when you started and look at you today.... these are examples
- feel better
- less blood pressure medication
- mood is better
- diabetes medication adjusted
- more energy...

if you are still reading - keep up the good work, and I am glad you are taking care of you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUCKETTE 6/22/2009 6:21AM

    Wanted to comment how the company I work for not only has a great fitness center and we're able to use the local city pool. But they've also started having a vendor come in once a week that sells fresh fruits and veggies right here at work. We have weight watchers come in for meetings. More people need to take advantage of what the company offers.

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BUCKETTE 6/22/2009 6:17AM

    Lu Ann told me to be sure to read your blog and I'm glad I did. Especially the one prior to your newest one. We do get caught up in #'s and not the overall picture.

thanks for the reminder and your advice over the months.

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BILLALEX70 6/21/2009 5:42PM

    Here, here!

I've never had to take medicines due to my obesity or ever felt that I couldn't do just about anything. The one thing that the weight kept me from was LIVING! Living a normal life. Living in fear of not fitting into a seat at the theater. Living the life of a BLOB. NO MORE! I've shed most of my FAT suit and I'm now living my life.

Always a pleasure to stop by you page Jan.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 6/21/2009 5:09PM

    Thanks LuAnn for the comment.

Grace - if health care finance was that simple ... I am glad that someone is taking the initiative. The Cleveland Clinic is not the first. There are other big companies who have done it before them, but you are right - it is nice to see a health care organization lead by example.

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LULUBELLE1102 6/21/2009 10:27AM

The Cleveland Team is fortunate and proud to have you as part of our team. You always give us such good information. You may at times think we aren't listening but we are. I myself have incorporated many of you suggestions into my lifestyle and yes it has made a difference. So, if I haven't said it lately let me say it now load and clear THANK YOU!
Lu Ann

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JOPAPGH 6/21/2009 9:17AM

    I do some work for Highmark, a Blue Cross affiliate here in Pittsburgh, Very similar story there. State of the art work out facilities, healthy cafeteria food, all kinds of walking route options and yes, even weight loss competitions.

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GRACE612 6/21/2009 8:27AM

    Maybe if they are lowering health care costs for the CC employees, they can pass the savings down to the patients.... emoticon But you're right, no matter what it's a lifestyle change and I'm glad that CC is setting an example.

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IRISHLASS117 6/21/2009 8:09AM

    Again, it's a change in lifestyle that leads to a better life, a good life. We get that.

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The scale

Friday, June 19, 2009

You thought you were going to read something about how I have lost so many lbs.... didn't you?

You are not!

I have looked at a lot of SP pages and I am really surprised what I read. Everyone talks about healthier lifestyle, eating right, execising etc etc... and then how do you measure it... the scale.

I am provocative now - you are a prisoner of the scale!!!!

Here is an exercise for you. Think about where you were when you started this journey - and you are not allowed to use the word weight or scale, and then look at you now.

Blood pressure
Blood sugar
Back pain
.... ohh, you didn't have a physical - perhaps this was something to consider.
clothes size
acivitity levels
how easy do I get fatigued....

.... and the list goes on. It is not about the scale. It is about a lifestyle makeover and living healthier. That you can't measure on the scale.

live while you have life to live
love while you have love to give
... make it a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLALEX70 6/19/2009 8:45PM

    Preach on brother.

When I started 15 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 miles per hour exhausted me; now I can RUN 5K's. I'm sure it never crossed that guy's mind to jump on a bike and ride 100 miles, but this new me is up for the challenge.

I may still weigh in weekly to monitor my progress, but it doesn't define me. I've lost more weight than most people ever start with, but I've earned every loss with hard work and sweat equity.

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GRACE612 6/19/2009 7:18PM

    emoticon Great thoughts to ponder!

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GRANDMAMOORE 6/19/2009 7:29AM

    What a nice way to look at life. Right on the mark. I salute you!! emoticon

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IRISHLASS117 6/19/2009 7:27AM

    Amen Warrior.

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My niece Amanda

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can you spell remission. Can you spell joy. Can you say cancer free. It sounds like music to my ears

Yesterday my niece Amanda left a voice mail on my cell phone - letting her uncle Jan know that her bone marrow biopsy - after 2 years and 7 months fro,m the day she went into the hospital with a bad nose bleed - which turned into leukemia - was CLEAN!!! We could not be happier. (I tried to call her back - but she was celebrating I guess).

I want to thank all of you for your emails, friendship, support, thoughts, prayers runs, bikerides ... or which ever way you have expressed your support. Amanda has just - with good grades - finished her second semester in a community college and for the first time she can celebrate a summer again ....

cancer was defeated again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMCG2002 6/17/2009 7:49PM


What wonderful news, for you and Amanda! I hope you do some celebrating, too.

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BILLALEX70 6/17/2009 5:50PM

    Jan I can't have heard better news today! emoticon

It still breaks my heart that we have people diagnosed with cancer, but the more money and awareness we can raise it doesn't stand a chance.


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    Jan, that is FANTASTIC. I can only imagine how elated you are. Here's to one of her best summers ever . . and many more to come!!

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JOPAPGH 6/17/2009 8:04AM

    Great news!

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GRACE612 6/17/2009 7:54AM

    That is awesome news, Jan!!! As a cancer patient myself, I'm sure that your niece is beyond thrilled to have heard that news!!

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IRISHLASS117 6/17/2009 7:05AM


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Cancer lost again

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My fellow sparkers. This afternoon was very special for a couple of families, and it was special for me.

Four years ago, I met a scared young lady. She was scared because she had just been diagnosed with leukemia, and what I was about to do to her, was not pleasant - a bone marrow biopsy. She was there with her mom, and we got to chat. She was a remarkable woman, and instantly we connected.

A week later I met her in the hallways. She looked upset. I asked her what was the matter. She needed another bone marrow biopsy. I asked her if she wanted me to do it? Much to my surprise she said - she would like to but she was afraid to ask. And I did another - which was uneventful.

Because she and I and her family got to know each other - we continued to stay in touch (I left the hospital for another), and this young - and strong lady has been one of my honoree's on the bike rides, runs, and the triathlons.

I could continue the details - but won't - but leave it to say - the next years she has been to hell and back. Her family are wonderful and one person in particular has been at her side the entire way. Her boyfriend, who she knew since 2 or 3rd grade. They have been there through her bone marrow transplant and her ins and outs of the hospital.

Today was the day where 'for better and for worse' and 'in sickness and in health' took on a new meaning. My honoree and her boyfriend - turned fiancée, became husband and wife, and I was privileged to be there when they tied the knot.

Needless to say they are doing well, and I feel so fortunate to see this happy occasion - because cancer - this time you lost!!!

Please take a minute to view this piece from our local Fox affiliate

(I am not sure where the heart transplant comes from - reporters - what can I say).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NETTYBREAD 6/15/2009 11:58AM

    WoW! Very neat story indeed.

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LULUBELLE1102 6/14/2009 5:18AM

    What a beautiful story.

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RENA1965 6/14/2009 3:19AM

    Good for you Jan, keep up the hard work! I hope my 8 year old neice also winds against cancer, she is in good hands at the space rocket hospital for children in Auckland, New Zealand..

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KATIEWELL 6/13/2009 8:44PM


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IRISHLASS117 6/13/2009 8:26PM


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BILLALEX70 6/13/2009 8:23PM

    It's always good to hear a positive cancer story. I personally can't imagine what that young lady has gone through, but many close family members do understand and I've witnessed first hand through them.

Most cancer stories end in tears and heartbreak. Glad to hear this one end in tears and heart filled joy!

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GRACE612 6/13/2009 8:08PM

    Through thick and this, what a love story!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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DINAHGIRL 6/13/2009 7:08PM

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much, Jan!

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MYTURN11 6/13/2009 7:06PM

    What a beautiful blog. I cried. I am glad that cancer lost again. I have lost so many friends and family in the past two years that I so love to hear success stories. I also admire all who were there to support this young woman including you.

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SUNFISH25 6/13/2009 4:58PM

It is so good to hear that she has had support thru all of this. This is not a path anyone should have to travel alone. And your being there must have helped both her and her family.
God Bless.

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ALMMOM 6/13/2009 4:50PM

    How awesome. My sister has been battling with cancer (bone). I love to hear sucess stories like this one. It is an up and down cycle during the disease.

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Mule report (Tahoe ride report)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Friday morning, 7am we took off from Cleveland to Minneapolis - and on to Sacramento - and loaded the bus to go to Tahoe ... it was not the prettiest weather. Lots of low clouds, sprinkles (and I had heard the s word in the forecast) - We got out bikes - and Friday night one of the mules (Mark) invited us over to the house he has rented (he is here with his family and a few friends). Grillin' and chillin - it was great.

Saturday morning: It is grey outside. Temp 39. The national weather service says 'Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph. ' hmmm. sunny remains to be seen. I had a great 8+ hrs sleep last night - don't remember when that last happened.

The shakedown ride was relatively uneventful - we rode about 8 miles, and some issues with derailleurs were identified. We found out how cold it is going to be tomorrow and some of us went to get some apparel we should have thought of when we packed. Fortunately we can get it in skiing stores where they are having good sales. - I met with three of my friends from 'cyclists combating cancer' and we spent a good hour together. Two mules (John and Scott joined us).

In the interim we got our race package - and (mule) Mark is riding with # 6 tomorrow (at this event the top 10 fundraisers for LLS will ride with 1-10). He has raised a little more then $23k.

The big new of the pasta party - this event raised more than$6.8M and the 26 members of the Northern Ohio team raised $171.000. (Just received the number).

4am came early. The sky was grey, but no rain :-) so we were hopeful. We assembled in hotel lobby and rode over to the start line. At 6:20 the first northern Ohio team rolled out. It was cool, but pleasant. Before we rolled out mule scott reminded me that I had just blown out of the gate last year, and it was not a good idea ... well he should practice what he preach - because who blew out of the gate at 20mph. That was kind of our average until the switch backs of emerald bay. We climbed Emerald bay - could have been prettier - but it was deliberate pedaling. The stage for the rest of the ride is set and we cruised.

At this point I should probably say - mule John did not ride with us. He was not feeling well, so he rode with a Philly team mate. Our team (pace line or 'train') was mule Scott and Mule Mark - with us we had two Yak's Rachel and Laura who was an incredible asset, and then at times we were joined by other team mates from Northern Ohio, but they had a hard time keeping up with us. A couple of times the 'train' dropped off a rider, but we I was one of them.

We did have a small mishap - on a bike trail someone not from our team - stopped abruptly - and there was a pile up of four cyclists - BUT no scratches.

We met at Spooner and rode in together - content ... headed over to the finish line where the pizza and beer waited, and cheering the rest of our team, who both for medical reasons did the perimeter of Tahoe (72 miles). When John came in - I met him as he made the last turn - and I ran next to him for the past 200 yards.

The ride of 2009 is now completed - once again cyclists showed we don't brake for cancer! There is one person whom I have decided to give something special to this year. Just before we left - I learned through a friend that a young and well respected police officer had lost his battle to leukemia. Police officers are special people and although his name is not on the jersey - this years jersey will go to either his department or his family (their choice).

As for 2010.... a couple of things are being considered. No decisions are made - the mules have started talking about some way of doing Seattle to Portland through a different chapter so we can raise money - or perhaps I will do a half iron man ... stay tuned for a decision later this year. (A half ironman is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run).

If you want to see the elevation map for Tahoe ...

To my honoree's - thanks for the inspiration to continue to do this
To my donors thank you for allowing me to do this one more year
To Mules - John, Mark, and Scott - plus Yaks Laura and Rachel - you guys ROCK.
To everyone else - thank you for all your support and encouragement in email, website postings etc

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLKITTIES 6/11/2009 9:05AM

  Thanks so much for the update. I'm sorry I missed it -- look forward to riding it agin next year with TNT.

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/10/2009 8:52AM

    Sounds like wonderful news all he way around. Thanks again for all you do for "the fight". We WILL find a cure!

Becky emoticon

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BUCKETTE 6/10/2009 6:00AM

    Such inspiration and such devotion to raising money to fight cancer.
Glad to have you back home !

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BILLALEX70 6/10/2009 5:01AM

    Glad to have you back with us in one piece. Sounds like the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

It appears that the only way we can stop Cancer is to keep on fundraising with the hopes that one day a researcher will have that "A-Ha" moment.

Until then we'll keep doing what we're doing.

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JOPAPGH 6/9/2009 11:12PM

    Great report. Appreciate all you and the other riders do to fight the good fight.

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TTLEELEE 6/9/2009 10:19PM

    emoticon Welcome Home. Glad it turned out so well!

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GRACE612 6/9/2009 9:31PM

    Great job on the ride and the fund raising!!!

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IRISHLASS117 6/9/2009 9:30PM

    The Warrior returns! So glad to have you back.

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MAGELLAN1 6/9/2009 9:24PM

    great job! your team is a seems to be a cycling and money raising machine! i left the area (from Reno) sunday morning. i was wondering if the weather held up for you riders. It was iffy all week. congratulations on a fine job. well done.


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    Glad it was such a good experience!

Have you seen this?:
>looks entirely too much fun! (and a LOT of hard work!!)

Glad to have you back! We'll have to have a SparkCleveland biking get together! :)

Have a great week,


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