Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

A star among stars, little Warriors fan battles brain tumor

Saturday, April 11th, 2015
Kapri Geenaert and family. From L- Shawn, Kailey and Kenadie Geenaert with family member Aiden. photo by F.D. Purcell

Kapri Geenaert and family at the Warriors game, Thursday night, April 9, 2015. From L – Shawn, Kailey, Kenadie and Kapri Geenaert with family member Aiden. photo by F.D. Purcell

Attends game during NBA’s Hoops for St. Jude Week

By F.D.Purcell

Many fans show up to Golden State Warriors games early, in hopes of shaking hands or getting a photo op with their favorite player and this past Thursday was no different. Except this time the roles were reversed; Warriors players shook hands and took photos with someone sitting courtside near their bench.

Kapri meets Stephen Curry and St. Jude NBA Ambassdor David Lee. Photo by F.D. Purcell

Kapri and family meet the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and St. Jude NBA Ambassador David Lee. Photo by F.D. Purcell

That person would be six year-old Santa Rosa resident Kapri Geernaert. Chosen to attend Thursday’s game, as a part of the NBA’s Hoops for St. Jude Week, April 3rdthrough 9th, Geernaert met with Warriors players and St. Jude Childrens Hospital Ambassador David Lee, who visited St. Jude last month in Memphis and donated $75,000 to help support their lifesaving work.

Geernaert is one of 250 to 500 children in the U.S. daignosed yearly with a cancerous tumor called Medulloblastoma, which accounts for 20% of all childhood brain tumors in our country.

Last June, after months of battling flu-like symptoms Kapri’s illness would come to a head. While riding in the car with her mother, Becki she suffered a seizure and the Geernaerts would receive the news that no parent should ever have to hear, their five year-old daughter had a brain tumor.

The past year has been crazy, a lot of anxiety,” said her father Shawn. Doctors would eventually find multiple tumors peppered throughout her spine and brain areas, one the size of a walnut on her brain that was removed. The others were smaller and did not require removal.

Sitting with her big sisters, 11 year-old Kenadie and nine year-old Kailey and 11 year-old cousin Aiden, the Geernaert girls describe their little sister as funny” and “cute,” who “likes to do crazy things.” They kept Kapri’s spirit happy by giving her candy, when they visited.

While their mom stayed with Kapri in Memphis her sisters helped their dad out, by helping with laundry and dishes, at their home in Santa Rosa.

We love St. Jude, it’s a home away from home,” said Becki who was not in attendance Thursday but face-timed with Shawn, becoming emotional when she saw Kapri’s interaction with the players.

Donning a Warriors cap and personalized jersey with her name on the back the soft-spoken first grader told Sports in the Bay she enjoys doing crafts and her favorite player was “#30,” because she “likes the way he shoots.” For those of you living under a rock this season that would be two-time all-star and MVP candidate Stephen Curry.

The Geernaerts credit their faith and church, Spring Hills Church in Santa Rosa, for providing a wealth of support over the past nine months, along with a host of family and friends who held fund raising events and offered words of prayer and encouragement.

After seven rounds of chemotherapy, five weeks of radiation and a nine-month residence in Memphis, Kapri returned home a few weeks ago and is adjusting well. She enjoys visiting her classmates daily and is excited about returning to school in the fall.

I would encourage people to give $5 or $10, anything to St. Jude because its going to a great cause,” said Becki whose husband was a long-time contributor to St. Jude before Kapri’s diagnosis.

Learn more about Kapri on her Facebook page: Kapri Geernaert.

Follow F.D. Purcell on Twitter: @sportsinthebay_ or on Facebook at: Sports in the Bay

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“Cycling for Sustainability” education bicycle tour to be in Antioch, April 21

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Public invited to Join 215-mile tour of California watershed, with Organic Valley farmers and employees, April 19-25

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (April 8, 2015) – Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers, will participate in the United Nations’ International Year of Soils by “Cycling for Sustainability” through California watersheds. From April 19-25, Organic Valley farmer-owners and employees will travel 215 miles from Auburn, California, to the Sonoma coast, learning from experts along the way about the impact of agriculture on water and soil in California.

Hailing from as far as Maine, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Washington state, the cyclists have diverse backgrounds and interests in the event. The public is invited to join them for any or all segments of the journey.

The events along the route are open to the public and include a meeting with the American River Parkway Foundation to learn about the coexistence of agriculture and environmental conservation along the parkway; a tour of Antioch Dunes Wildlife Refuge to understand a grazing initiative using cows to control invasive species; and an evening of food, drink and conversation at a Grass Up! event at the David Brower Center featuring guest speakers from Pesticide Action Network and Seed Matters. RSVP at

The journey concludes with a visit to beautiful Ocean Breeze Dairy in Valley Ford, one of Organic Valley’s member-farms. Mark Kopecky, soil agronomist at Organic Valley, will join Ocean Breeze’s owner, Jarrid Bordessa, to share how Organic Valley farms are creating healthy soil and water systems.

Soil is the foundation for all of agriculture,” says Kopecky, “and healthy soil is the first goal of organic agriculture. When we work with the amazing community of living beings in the soil, we can grow good crops of healthy food and feed while, at the same time, benefiting our water, air and landscape.”

View the complete Cycling for Sustainability Tour itinerary at Follow the cyclists as they blog at

Jake Wedeberg, a participating young farmer from Wisconsin who is a key member of Organic Valley’s On-Farm Sustainability Committee and Generation Organic Executive Committee, is specifically interested in learning from the California experts about how the cooperative can innovate and implement best practices for soil and water on member-farms across the nation.

While we typically have ample amounts of rain in Wisconsin, past droughts have had lasting financial implications and effects on our farming practices. As young organic farmers across the country look to the future and climate change, issues involving natural resources like soil and water will be central to our challenges. Our entire generation needs to learn what we can do now to prepare for the future.”

Speaking from the point of view of an older farmer is George Siemon, Organic Valley’s CEIEIO and one of the co-op’s founding farmers, is pleased with the efforts of these farmers. “The daily, earth-healing work of Organic Valley is at the core of our mission. The continuous improvement of our business’s sustainability practices is our backbone.”

The public is invited to join the cyclists at any time during the Cycling for Sustainability Tour. View the itinerary here. They will be armed with video cameras to document their journey. Videos and images of the tour will post to Organic Valley’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and daily progress will be shared on, along with information about the cyclists and experts.

Organic Valley: Independent and Farmer-Owned

Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents approximately1,800 farmers in 36 states. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, and produce, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. With its regional model, milk is produced, bottled and distributed right in the region where it is farmed to ensure fewer miles from farm to table and to support our local economies. For further information visit Organic Valley is also on Twitter @OrganicValley and Facebook,

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UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Health Affiliate to develop regional health care network, new company

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Relationship to serve as cornerstone of Bay Area network to provide more integrated, high-quality, cost-effective care

UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health have finalized an agreement that will serve as the foundation for a Bay Area health care network intended to provide patients with high quality care at an affordable price.

The two health systems also have formed a new development company that will enable them to collaborate on building new medical facilities, increase the number of physicians in the health care network, and provide physicians and patients new tools to improve coordination of care, with the ultimate goal of an enhanced patient experience.

Under the agreements, both organizations remain independent. Together, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health:

  • Have invested in a collaborative effort, called the Bay Area Accountable Care Network, to form a regional health care network. Establishing a Bay Area-wide network will provide patients from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California with a competitively priced option to access, close to where they live or work, many of the Bay Area’s most trusted and respected hospitals, health systems and physician organizations.

  • Will equally own and operate a new development company. The formal affiliation will enable both organizations to build on their strengths and work together to develop joint initiatives and a shared services organization to support programs and initiatives focused on better health care, at lower costs, for Bay Area patients.

UCSF Medical Center, and John Muir Health are leading the development of a comprehensive Bay Area network of providers who share a common commitment to providing safe, high quality, patient centered care at an affordable price. We intend to offer this network to health plans who serve patients throughout the Bay Area,” said Mark R. Laret, CEO of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. “We look forward to working not just with each other, but with other health organizations throughout the Greater Bay Area, in order to provide an exceptional health care experience for patients.”

The two organizations will apply for a restricted Knox-Keene license effective in the Greater Bay Area. This license, which is issued by the California Department of Managed Health Care, would enable the Bay Area Accountable Care Network to contract directly with health plans to develop an insurance product that provides access to high-quality care at an affordable price.

As a next step, UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health will coordinate their Epic electronic medical record systems and patient communication portals to enable better physician and patient communications. UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health also anticipate, with other provider partners, building enhanced physician practice management services to create alternatives for physicians throughout the Bay Area who wish to be participating providers in the Bay Area Accountable Care Network.

Our affiliation brings together two forward-thinking organizations that share a vision for how health care will be delivered in the future,” said Cal Knight, president and CEO of John Muir Health. “We’re pleased to have finalized our affiliation so we can further our joint initiatives and efforts to develop a Bay Area Accountable Care Network. We’re focused on meeting the needs of patients by providing better access to high-quality and affordable care throughout the Bay Area from trusted and respected physicians, hospitals, outpatient facilities and health systems.”

Both John Muir Health and UCSF Medical Center already have experience in successful care models developed under the Affordable Care Act, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), that have demonstrated lower health care costs and improved health care quality. These experiences, as well as those of other organizations that choose to be part of the provider network, will be translated into the Bay Area Accountable Care Network. The goal is to provide the right care at the right time and in the most appropriate setting, whether that is the primary care physician’s office, an outpatient center or a hospital. When better coordination of care results in lower costs, the savings achieved are passed along to consumers in the form of lower health care benefit premiums.

By working more closely, the two organizations also will offer more convenient access to care for patients in Northern California. For example, an outpatient clinic for liver transplant services will be established at the John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Outpatient Center. This will allow patients who are waiting for transplants, or have recently received transplants, at UCSF Medical Center, which is nationally recognized for the quality of its program, to receive clinical services such as blood testing and monitoring at the new location.  John Muir Health’s Physician Network is a comprehensive network of primary care and specialist physicians, covering virtually all conditions except transplants.

In addition, both organizations are widely recognized for the quality of care they provide. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek and John Muir Medical Center, Concord as the top three hospitals in the San Francisco-Oakland area. In addition, the John Muir Physician Network recently received the highest possible “elite” ranking from the California Association of Physician Groups.

About UC San Francisco and UCSF Medical Center

UCSF Medical Center consistently ranks as one of the top 10 hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report. Recognized for innovative treatments, advanced technology, collaboration among health care professionals and scientists, and a highly compassionate patient care team, UCSF Medical Center serves as the academic medical center of UC San Francisco. UCSF’s nationally preeminent programs include children’s health, the brain and nervous system, organ transplantation, women’s health, cancer and behavioral health. The medical center operates as a self-supporting enterprise within UCSF and generates its own revenues to cover the operating costs of providing patient care.

UCSF Medical Center’s newest location, in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco, opened on February 1, 2015. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco is affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.

About John Muir Health

John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, more than 5,500 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with San Ramon Regional Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center and Stanford Children’s Health. John Muir Health and Stanford Children’s Health will jointly open Contra Costa County’s first and only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek in April 2015. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care. For more information, visit

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Evolve Aikido & Movement Center and neighboring businesses to host Grand Opening & Block Party on Sunday

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Grand Opening artEvolve Aikido & Movement Center in Antioch announces it’s Grand Opening & Block Party this on Sunday, November 2nd from 11am to 2pm. It’s a “drop-in” day with free lunch, a raffle, giveaways, music, performances, classes and jumpies, so bring the whole family. The schedule is below for your planning convenience.

Grand OpeningPlease “like” their page on Facebook if you haven’t already –


11:00am – Opening, Music, Jumpy, Registration

11:10am – Yoga Mini-Class, all levels

11:30am -  Dance/Tumbling/Cheer Performances

12:00     -   Free Lunch to first 100 registered guests 

12:10pm -  Jui Jitsu demo

12:30pm -  Tour of Businesses

12:45pm – Tai Chi Mini-Class, all levels

1:00pm -  Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting & Raffle

1:30pm -  Aikido Belt Promotion

2:00pm – Finish

The location is 1211 Auto Center Drive in Antioch, between 10th & 18th Streets across from Midas. To attend the event, please contact Owner & Chief Instructor Brandy Lucky at (925) 207-8656.

If you’re on Facebook, please join their Grand Opening “event” by clicking here.

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Malu Fitness celebrates Grand Opening in Antioch, gives back to community

Monday, September 8th, 2014
Owner Marcus Malu shared a few words before cutting the ribbon during the Grand Opening of Malu Fitness in Antioch, August 9.

Owner Marcus Malu, right, shared a few words before cutting the ribbon during the Grand Opening of Malu Fitness in Antioch, August 9.


By Luke Johnson

Nearly a hundred people gathered Saturday, August 9 to celebrate the Grand Opening of Malu Fitness, in Antioch.

A list of local area celebrities and dinitaries were in attendance. Cal-Berkeley’s head football coach Sonny Dykes, professional basketball player Eli Holman and Brentwood Vice Mayor Joel Bryant all made an appearance.

After cutting the big red tape, employees and gym members gave back to the community and served free food to the homeless in downtown Antioch.

I know how it is to be down on your luck. To be called a loser. To be called a ‘brokey-broke,’” owner Marcus Malu said. “The opportunity and doors that God has opened for me and the people He has put in my circle, why not take advantage of all those things? Why hold on to that hook up when you can have your hook up, hook you up, to hook everybody else up? It’s not, ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.’ I’m scratching your back because I know your back itches.”

Malu has been a personal trainer for five years, and has produced top tier talent. He worked with former Freedom High School running back Joe Mixon, who received over 50 Division I scholarship offers. Current athletes under Malu, Freedom High senior Dominic Fredrickson, Antioch High sophomore Najee Harris and Heritage High senior Sam Hinn combine for well over a dozen offers.

Malu is not just Marcus’ last name, it’s also an acronym which stands for “Making Athletes Live Unique,” which is their slogan. One thing that makes Marcus unique is that he trains kids, whose parents cannot afford it, for free.

I grew up with nothing, but at the same time with the very little that we had, my parents taught me to always share,” Malu said. “If somebody ain’t got it, reach out and help them. It’s always been that way.” Malu Fitness is located at 8 Walter Way, off A Street. To learn more, call (925) 305-6249 or visit

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New Evolve Aikido & Movement Center will get you moving, safe

Saturday, September 6th, 2014
Aikido is a non-violent form of martial arts.

Aikido is a non-violent form of martial arts.

By Allen Payton

Brandy Lucky is a rarity in martial arts, as a woman sensei (teacher, in Japanese) of her own dojo.

I really was, 30 years ago, when I started,” she laughed. “I started fresh out of college.”

Lucky is the sensei of a new studio in Antioch, known as Evolve Aikido & Movement Center.

Aikido is a Japanese, non-violent martial art, she explained. There’s no kicking, hitting or punching. It uses the force of the attacker to take them down.

The founder would say if any of those are included, it’s not Aikido,” she stated.

Lucky first learned about Aikido at a dojo in Stockton, where she developed their juniors program and women’s self-defense program, before starting her own in Santa Rosa.

That dojo still exists, today and was handed over to one of her apprentices.

Her newest location, which just opened at 1211 Auto Center Drive in Antioch, is more than Aikido. Evolve offers instruction in Tai Chi, Jiu Jitsu, self-defense, yoga, dance and tumbling, plus cheer and gymnastics.

It’s inspired movement, which is different than going to the gym,” Lucky said. “It gives you far better results than just being on the treadmill for 30 minutes.”

Each of the instructors are well-known and high-level in their fields. The dance instructor, for example, has a Masters degree in Dance.

Lucky is a 4th Degree Black Belt in Aikido and a Brown Belt in Kung Fu, as well.

I got into this because I realized I could help change people’s lives,” she shared. “That trumped everything – my college degrees, the vision of who I wanted to be.”

Seeing the results in a student who, after just a few classes, would think of themselves differently, walk and carry themselves differently makes it all worth while,” Lucky added.

The classes are affordable with an introductory price of just $5.00 each and instruction is for all ages.

She is starting an eight-week Beginners Course in Aikido in September and there is limited space. So, be sure to pre-register by calling 207-8656.

If you’re interested in starting on a new path of personal evolution, to feeling safe, healthier and more powerful, call Evolve Aikido & Movement Center, today.

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MaxMuscle to hold free holiday eating seminar Sat., Dec. 21

Sunday, December 15th, 2013



Wishing you health and happiness this Holiday Season

and prosperity in the New Year!


Grab a friend & join us for FREE sampling too!!!
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Kiwanis Club and Tom Torlakson to hold annual Holiday Run & Walk for Health, Saturday

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Holiday Run banner

Race Overview and Welcome

Dear Friends, Sponsors, and Fitness Enthusiasts:

We know you will enjoy the 37th Anniversary of the Holiday Run and Walk for Health and Health Fair in Antioch, coming on December 14, 2013. We invite you to participate in this year’s run, walk & health fair. Use this event as a goal for increasing your own personal fitness and energy—and that of your family!

Three decades! This event is the longest “running” fitness event in East Contra Costa—and is one of the earliest and most steadfast events promoting fitness and clean living in Northern California. It’s been possible to carry on this tradition and spread this message due to the generous support of sponsors and the tireless energy of hundreds of volunteers. If you’d like to join our planning committee for 2014, let us know. We need your ideas and help.

We welcome your feedback. We’re always looking to improve and expand. As a result of our generous sponsors, the recent event proceeds benefited the Orin Allen Rehabilitation Center, local youth groups and service clubs, Contra Costa County Schools and Contra Costa Libraries, and Senior Centers. Those awards were given at the Annual Awards Breakfast held in February! This year we will continue to offer similar benefits to our great local organizations.

The Antioch Kiwanis Club of the Delta invites you to share this unique health awareness and fitness action event in 2013…Join in on the fun & the health of it! Click here to download a race registration form or click here to register on-line!

For more information, please visit

See you on Saturday!


Assemblymember Tom Torlakson
Race Founder
Paul Schorr
Race Director
Antioch Kiwanis Club of the Delta
37th Holiday Run and Walk for Health



Holiday Run and Walk for Health Race History

In 1977, current California State Superintendent of Public Education, Tom Torlakson, a teacher and coach at Pacific High School, and Mike Hurd, the Antioch High School Cross Country coach during the 1970s, decided to pull together a new East County event. One in which their runners could participate after the Cross Country season ended, and one that would involve their community more in running.

In the 2nd year, Torlakson approached Clark Gelhaus—a teacher as well as a swimming instructor and fitness enthusiast—and the Delta Kiwanis Club to help with the event. Both the Kiwanis and Gelhaus enthusiastically embraced the Holiday Run.

The event’s organizers have continued to expand and transform the event to make it enjoyable and meaningful for participants.

A 10K race was added by 1979. In the 1980s, the race was moved up to Raley’s Shopping Center to take advantage of the nearby Contra Costa Canal trail. In 1987, the Holiday Run’s “School Participation Challenge” was initiated as a way to get younger students involved in the race and fitness.

In 1991, the race moved to the nearby Delta Memorial Hospital, now Sutter Delta Medical Center, allowing the use of their facilities for race headquarters. The walk was added to attract parent participation, seniors, and the growing number of recreational walkers.

In 1995, Delta Kiwanis made the Byron Boys Ranch—recently renamed the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Center—a targeted beneficiary of the financial proceeds of the event. Youth groups remain major beneficiaries to this day. A health fair was added and in 1997 our name evolved once again, to the “Holiday Run and Walk for Health.”

New participation challenges were also added. A Libraries Challenge gave our wonderful local libraries the opportunity to become beneficiaries of the event. Though their participation, libraries are awarded funds to buy up-to-date materials on fitness and nutrition.

In 2006, the Holiday Run and Walk for Health moved to the Contra Loma Regional Park with the cooperation of the East Bay Regional Parks District. This spectacular location was well received by a record-number of runners in its first three years.

We have worked together to celebrate three decades of family fun and fitness! We continue to believe that the “Holiday Run and Walk for Health” has great potential to grow and bring its message of fitness and family health to hundreds of others in our community

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