Running with children

Tips on how to introduce your child to running, even if you’re not a runner yourself!

Tips on getting started running with your kidsRunning is a great activity families can enjoy together. You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a running enthusiast to get started having some fun while being active with your family. It’s also a great opportunity to be a role model of living an active lifestyle. If you’ve never run before, start out slow and work up your stamina.

Here are some tips for getting started running with children:

How young is too young?

There’s no data that shows there is a lower age limit for starting running. That’s best evaluated on an individual basis. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate your child’s interest (they may need a little prompting at first, but remember, this is for fun, not training for the Olympics).

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Crispy oven-baked chicken tenders

Oven-baked chicken tendersChicken tenders are a main staple on the list of kid-approved items many families rely on for easy week night meals.  Finger food that’s dippable and can be served quickly with almost anything – what’s not to like?

This recipe for homemade crispy, oven-baked chicken tenders from Rebecca Wauldron, Executive Chef at Busch’s Fresh Food Markets, is not only something your kids can help with, but they will actually enjoy eating, too.

And because they’re baked, not fried, they are much better for you than fast food versions and many of the freezer varieties, as well!

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Detour Ahead: Your Journey road sign for dementia or memory loss

DetourLife is a journey. The Detour Ahead road sign acknowledges that dementia or memory loss significantly alters a person’s journey through life. Other road sign tips for living with memory loss will be introduced over the next few months.

Just as detours are not a normal, expected part of your daily commute or family road trip, dementia is not a normal part of aging. As you age, a few changes can be expected such as:

  • Increase in forgetfulness. The older we are, the more we have learned and have to remember.  It is normal to become more forgetful after age 50.
  • Slowing of response times
  • Decline in vision and hearing abilities
  • Increased cautiousness

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Looking for help for Heather Kornick

Heather Kornick

Heather Rose Kornick

In the early hours of June 2008, Helen Kornick surfed the Web to find help for her daughter Heather, who had recently been diagnosed with adrenal cancer. The 20-year old was originally misdiagnosed and left untreated for a year and a half. Now, the cancer had metastasized and her mother was desperate for information.

On a website where patients, caregivers and medical professionals share information about this devastating disease, Helen posted Heather’s story. Almost immediately, she received an e-mail from Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Endocrine Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“He left his phone number and said to call him immediately,” Helen recalls. “It was 6:30 in the morning.”

And so, the scared mom from Lake Zurich, Illinois, picked up the phone and called Dr. Hammer as he drove through the rain in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Through this unlikely connection, Heather began treatment at the Cancer Center the following Tuesday.

Today, Helen Kornick remains profoundly affected by her first exposure to the University of Michigan.

“Dr. Hammer was so passionate about wanting to personally help us walk through this,” she says.

Looking back

Helen remembers her daughter as a powerful, determined, and organized personality. At Indiana University, Heather took on a double major: Jewish studies and political science. It was after freshman year that some troublesome symptoms sent Heather to her primary doctor. After the results from ultrasound, blood tests and examinations didn’t seem to add up, she was referred to a specialist in reproductive endocrinology. Without performing a physical exam or any further tests, the specialist diagnosed her with polycystic ovarian syndrome/insulin resistance, non-diabetic.

For the next year and a half, Heather was treated for a disease she did not have.

At the end of her junior year, her symptoms worsening, Heather sought a second opinion. Her new endocrinologist took a thorough family history, performed a complete physical exam and ordered multiple tests including the CT scan that found a 14-centimeter tumor on her adrenal gland. The diagnosis: adrenocortical carcinoma that had already metastasized.

Heather’s tumor had compromised one of her kidneys and it had to be removed. Soon after the surgery, the Kornick family drove to Ann Arbor. They met with Dr. Hammer, Frank Worden, M.D., a medical oncologist who specializes in endocrine tumors such as adrenal cancers, and a host of other medical professionals associated with Michigan’s multidisciplinary Cancer Center team.

Heather’s treatment at Michigan, which included stereotactic targeted radiation, IV and oral chemotherapy, and a great deal of support and encouragement, gave her five years of life.

Heather graduated from college and for a while, despite many health challenges, she lived independently. She worked as a youth advisor and teacher, had a cat and enjoyed entertaining. She also traveled with family and friends, including two trips to Disney World and three to Las Vegas where she loved roulette – donating her winnings to cancer research through the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program.

In fall 2012, Heather’s medical team – doctors in Illinois and Michigan, once strangers, now united in her care – told her there were no more options for treatment. They could only treat the symptoms and not the disease.

Heather Kornick passed away on April 3, 2013, just three days after the family returned home from a trip to Las Vegas.

Heather’s legacy

In September 2013, Philip and Helen Kornick returned to Ann Arbor to meet with Hammer and Worden and talk about creating a powerful legacy in Heather’s name.

As a result of that meeting and prompted by Heather’s wishes – the Heather R. Kornick Adrenocortical Cancer Research Fund was established to advance innovative research in adrenocortical cancer, including, but not limited to, early detection and targeted therapy.

Hammer, who is outspoken about the need for physicians to remain engaged with their patients in regards to their experience with illness, says he will never forget Heather Kornick or her family.

“Helen and Phil Kornick are some of the fiercest advocates I’ve had the privilege to know,” he says. “Their love for their daughter drove them to push us hard to learn more and treat Heather with new regimens. Their efforts helped give Heather five additional years of life. And in their work with us, they made me a better doctor; I’m forever grateful for that.”

Take the next step:

Gary HammerGiving to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center helps further our mission to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. You can have an immediate impact by using our online form to make a gift today. Or visit to learn more.



University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer CenterThe University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan for cancer patient care. Seventeen multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

stomachInflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used for diseases that involve chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two most common forms of IBD. IBD is different from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which can have some of the same symptoms, but does not cause inflammation or permanent damage to the digestive tract.

Symptoms of IBD include rectal bleeding, abdominal cramping, fatigue, weight loss and diarrhea. Most people with IBD begin experiencing symptoms before the age of 30. It is more common in Caucasians, but can occur in any ethnic group. Those with family members with IBD are also at higher risk. There may be environmental factors involved as well, as people who live in an urban area or industrialized country are more likely to develop IBD.

IBD is diagnosed after ruling out many other potential causes of the symptoms. Doctors may use several diagnostic tests, including blood tests, stool samples, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and various imaging tests.

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You can Make Health!

mott blog - design app imageHave you heard of the maker movement? It’s a grass roots “Do It Yourself” (DIY) movement to encourage kids and adults to “learn by doing”, and to do this learning with peers, for the purposes of fun and self-fulfillment.

We (myself and my colleague Matt Kenyon, Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design) are leading a group of individuals at the University of Michigan and from the larger community, to support maker activities for health, as we believe that kids and caregivers should part of the creation and promotion of health.

To encourage kids to become creators and designers of their own tools and technologies for health, we have created this app design tool.

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