Team Joe’s members gathered early this morning at the MIS Speedway to
begin the the journey to Traverse City East Middle School that serves as
home base for the beginning of this year’s Wish-A-Mile (WAM) 3 day, 300
mile cycling tour. This year, we have 18 riders doing the 300 mile tour
and 2 doing the WAM 50 which takes place on Sunday. We have many new WAM riders this year and everyone is excited and nervous at the same time.
But, when we see why we are riding, for our wish kids, the emotions shift
to excitement and motivation.
We are riding to create wishes and Team Joe’s beat the goal of raising $50,000 that will support at least 6 wishes for Michigan kids in the coming year. Along with all the WAM riders, WAM will raise $2 million for wishes. This makes 300 miles seem like nothing.
After we arrived at the middle school, it was time to prepare the bikes
for the morning, get our bags and get organized. Some of our members
pitched tents at the middle school choosing to “rough it”. Some of us
reserved hotels and took a WAM shuttle to check in. Some of us stuck
around the school to participate in various orientation activities. I am
lucky that my daughter Julie is a WAM volunteer and I will see her
throughout the 3 days! Then, we all ate a high carb dinner and set off to
get some much needed rest.
We gather tomorrow morning for a 5:45am breakfast and a goal to hit the road by 6:30. Our first day is full of
hills and many think it is our hardest day of riding. Distance is 98.3 miles
the first day. Weather forecast looks excellent with the exception of a
strong crosswind that I hope becomes a tailwind on the second half of the
Thanks to all who have supported Team Joe’s with donations to one of our riders or to the team. We will be carrying you in our thoughts along the
The WAM riders have set up camp at Travers City East Middle School. Team Joe’s feels better knowing there are board-certified bike doctors along the way!
Here is Rob Casalou and his daughter, Julie, who is a WAM volunteer.
Some Team Joe’s members, like Mike Prisby from system office, decided to pitch tents for the night rather than a hotel. Here is Mike trying to figure out his tent (stick to Finance Mike!) LOL
A glimpse at over 800 bikes ready to roll tomorrow morning!!
Team Joe’s is on its way north to the starting line of the 27th Wish-a-Mile 300 benefiting the Wish Kids of the Make a Wish Foundation. Throughout the three-day ride, CEO Rob Casalou and 17 Team Joe’s cyclists will post updates, photos and stories to this blog. They appreciate any words of encouragement and inspiration to push through the trek.
Here is the first post:
Team Joe’s is on it’s way to Traverse City!! The team gathered at MIS Speedway this morning and loaded on buses for the ride north. The weather is perfect and spirits are high. This year, 18 of us are riding the 3-day, 300 mile event and we have 2 riding the 50-mile event on Sunday. We are close to our team goal of raising $50,000 to support our wish kids!! We all say hi to all our friends and colleagues back at St. Joe’s. Please send your prayers for good weather, a strong tailwind and for the safety of all the 850 riders who are riding for wishes.
(Above photo) Ready to Ride: A bus takes the team north to Midland for WAM. Pictured from left: Alex Bradley, Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, Ed Jones, Dave McNeil and Lee Benjamin.
Ah, the great outdoors. We froze through the polar vortex and finally the payoff – A pure Michigan summer. Here’s my advice: Wrap your arms around it because it’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Make your list of 10 things you want to do outside and knock them out one at a time. Go catch some fireflies, spend an hour tonight stargazing, eat a delicious, fresh peach, plan a romantic picnic, lay in a hammock and do nothing at all…
This isn’t about being lazy, it’s about taking care of your health. Study after study attests to the powers of Mother Nature and the benefits of natural light. It’s a mood booster. I remember a study that showed patients in the hospital with a window view of the outdoors experience a quicker recovery. So in the interest of good health, get outside.
Sunlight on your skin gives you a boost of vitamin D but, if you’re like most Americans, you’ll spend 90% of your life indoors. And the older we get, the less likely we are to step outside. People over 50 generally need higher amounts of vitamin D. Studies have suggested that Vitamin D can help you battle depression, fight off heart disease and osteoporosis.
But with all the warnings we hear on the news of the dangers lurking in your backyard, it’s a wonder we go out at all. Sure, we need to be aware but not so fearful that we never venture out the front door.
“Give yourself a good dose of the sunshine vitamin during these summer months but don’t overdo it; moderation is always the key,” says Dr. Ann Lafond of Canton Dermatology. “Sunblock is a good idea when you’re spending long periods of time outdoors – especially midday.”
Dr. Lafond says vitamin D from sunlight is more effective than supplements. “When we take the proper precautions, the benefits of sunlight far outweigh the risks.”
Once you commit to more time outdoors, you can’t help but feel better. If you’re spending less time at your computer or in front of the television, chances are you’ll spend more time walking, bicycling, swimming. Just get moving. It’s sure to give your health a boost.
Humans were meant to be out in nature. It’s important to see green and smell flowers and jump in fresh water. And lucky for us, Michigan is a water wonderland. This is your chance. Don’t waste it. We’ll be back to the polar vortex in no time!
Sleep is necessary for a child’s optimal functioning. A lack of sleep affects every aspect of a child’s development and can cause medical, psychiatric, behavioral and developmental problems.
Symptoms of a sleep-deprived child include lack of focus or concentration, aggressive behaviors, hyperactivity or reduced school performance. Learn more about Pediatric Sleep Services.
Proper sleep is crucial for development and learning, but children who snore may have sleep apnea or a tonsil issue blocking their airway. It’s important to remember that children who lack sleep don’t necessarily act sleepy. Unlike adults, kids don’t get tired during the day, they become hyperactive and can be misdiagnosed with ADHD and put on medications they don’t need.
Led by our board-certified pediatric sleep specialist, Dr. Katherine DeRue, we will evaluate your child for a number of sleep concerns, such as snoring, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or daytime sleepiness. Based on your child’s symptoms, they may need a sleep study.
St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s Sleep Disorder Center provides a full range of services for children:
Ages 3 years and up:
- Evaluation of suspected obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other sleep disordered breathing
- Non-surgical treatment of known OSA or other sleep disordered breathing
- Evaluation and treatment for daytime sleepiness and Narcolepsy
- Circadian Rhythm disorders
Ages 6 months and up:
- Behavioral sleep problems
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Sleep Specialist, visit www.stjoeshealth.org/sleep or call 734-712-2276
Learn more about Dr. DeRue in this Pediatric Sleep Commercial.
Recently, I was asked to speak at an awards ceremony. And though I worked for 25 years as a news anchor and health reporter, instead of giving me the usual introduction as a “TV Personality,” or even “Award-Winning Journalist,” they gave me a much better title: “Adventure Creator.”
Helen Keller said it best: “Life is either a grand adventure or it’s nothing.” What’s an adventure? People always think that means jumping out of airplanes or riding a motorcycle across the country (been there, done that.) The truth is, creating adventure is about exploring unknown territory and doing something you think you cannot do. Feeling butterflies in your tummy and doing it anyway.
And you can create adventure at any age. Take my dear friend, Sister Anne Marilyn Tyler. How do you suppose this spunky 71-year-old photographer from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor plans to celebrate her 50th year as a religious sister? She’s fulfilling a lifelong dream by visiting the Grand Canyon to spend the night at its base under the starry night sky and attempt to capture a piece of its glory on film. Continue reading “MAKE YOUR LIFE AN ADVENTURE!”
Karen Langdon enjoyed dancing, scuba diving and living an active lifestyle with her husband. This all came to a screeching halt when the onset of debilitating pain in both hips, stemming from severe hip arthritis made doing the simple things in life, almost impossible. “It got so bad that I couldn’t do two dances in a row and over time it got worse and worse,” explained Karen.
Following two minimally invasive total hip replacements, performed by G. Victor Gibson, D.O. , a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, using the anterior hip approach, Karen was able to reconnect with her loving dance partner, virtually pain free.
“Now I can go shopping and walk around the mall if I want to, scuba diving of course, and best of all I can go dancing with my husband again,” explains Karen.
Karen has re-discovered her freedom, living a life free of pain. “There really are no restrictions after surgery. Just go do it, I recommend it highly, you will be so glad you did. Living a life that’s no longer in constant pain is wonderful”
To hear Karen’s story in it’s entirety visit
13 years ago, when Luanne Booth was treated for endometrial cancer, she never expected to be facing the disease again. The surgery went well, lab results indicated the cancer was gone, and her prognosis was good. But in January 2017, Luanne received the diagnosis that the cancer was back and a second surgery was not an option. She didn’t hesitate. She knew exactly where to go for treatment, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Cancer Care Center.
Luanne and her husband, Howard Booth, moved to the area from Ypsilanti where he had been an Eastern Michigan University physiology/ biology professor and vault coach for 47 years and she had been Head of Middle School at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. They found St. Joe’s Chelsea near their new home to be a first class hospital with the small community feel that inspired their move, and have trusted the hospital with their health care needs ever since.
One of the most impactful moments Luanne recalled from her treatment was Dr. Rebecca Liu, a specialist in gynecological cancers, recommending a clinical trial. Luanne and Howard felt it was important to participate. “While we hoped the trial protocol would help fight my cancer, we also highly value scientific study and the difference it makes improving treatment,” explained Luanne.
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is one of only 34 National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Programs (NCORP), and holds the highest grant score in the nation. St. Joe’s NCORP, housed in Ann Arbor and offered through all our Cancer Centers in Chelsea, Brighton, Livonia, Canton and Pontiac serves 5,000 patients eliminating the costs, health risks and stress of traveling by bringing research trials close to home.
“I feel so lucky I was a candidate for the trial arm of the study. It is in the second phase and showing promising results,” Luanne said. As part of the trial, Luanne underwent rigorous treatment including radiation five days a week for five weeks while undergoing chemotherapy for one day a week for 7 hours each time, which caused debilitating side effects. Following that, Luanne was treated with three sessions of outpatient brachytherapy, benefitting from the continuum of care between St. Joe’s Chelsea and Ann Arbor, housing one of the nation’s few high-dose-rate / low-dose-rate brachytherapy surgical suites.
Through it all, Luanne maintained her positive outlook and gratitude for the care she received. Most of all, she admired the staff’s professionalism, warmth and kindness, and personal interest. “You don’t really know the depth of the preparation and side effects of treatment until you’re going through it, and the staff is with you every step of the way, helping you cope, encouraging you, and gently managing things like your violent stomach upset, fatigue, and collapsing veins. You can tell they love their jobs and their patients.”
The Double Ribbon Mobius is a 9-foot tall coated aluminum sculpture chosen for its dynamic, strong and heart-like appearance. The Double Ribbon Mobius is a 9-foot tall coated aluminum sculpture chosen for its dynamic, strong and heart-like appearance.
During treatment, Luanne and Howard also noticed the beautiful, well-appointed features donors made possible. “When you go into St. Joe’s Chelsea Cancer Center, and you’re so warmly received by the
concierge Ken and department secretary Betty, they have set up a convenient card swipe for check-in, there is a warm fireplace, comfortable seating, gorgeous paintings, the food is like room service, you make friends with all the patients and spouses, and the staff is so cheerful, there is just one thing that doesn’t fit, the view out the window to the bleak rooftop,” explained Luanne. “Howard and I have a philosophy, we give back any way we can. I’m a musician and painter, so the idea of beautifying the rooftop with a sculpture appealed to us. We wanted our gift to make the experience even better for other patients and to be a lasting reminder of our gratitude to the staff for their wonderful care.”
“Howard and Luanne Booth’s generous support is making our incredible Cancer Center even better,” said Judy Stratman, Director of Development. “We are fortunate to have supporters who understand the important role that art plays in the healing experience. Their gift will have a lasting impact on patients and families who rely on St. Joe’s Chelsea for cancer care.”
I Feel Lucky
Luanne Booth wanted to do more than sit on the sidelines watching her husband, Howard, a World Champion in pole vault and other track events and current men’s vault coach at EMU, so she also joined the Michigan Senior Olympics. She has run in distance and sprint competitions and qualified for the nationals.
This same champion spirit helped her get through cancer with courage, hope and determination. Just three days after finishing a three-month-long rigorous treatment plan at St. Joe’s as part of a phase 2 study that included beam radiation, chemotherapy and brachytherapy, Luanne joined Howard for a trip to Washington DC for the 2017 National Street Vault at Freedom Plaza. The treatments were physically draining and she spent the trip in a wheelchair, but she was not going to miss it.
“I got around pretty well,” Luanne said. Today, less than a year later, Luanne is building up her strength and stamina to run again, is filled with vibrancy, and takes walks every day. Her resilience and healing journey inspire everyone she knows and meets. Luanne will tell you, “I just feel very lucky.”
For information about cancer services call 734-712-HOPE or visit stjoeschelsea.org/chelsea-cancer-care.
To make a gift to St. Joe’s Chelsea today, visit: giving.stjoeshealth.org/chelsea
Or contact the Office of Development:
Katie Elliott, Director of Major and Planned Gifts
734-712-3919 or Katie.Elliott@stjoeshealth.org
Karen Campbell, Gift Officer
734-712-2890 or Karen.Campbell@stjoeshealth.org
Melissa Sheppard, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
734-712-4079 or Melissa.Sheppard@stjoeshealth.org
(Source: “Gift of Health Spring” 2018)