Meet a Health Hero: Marci Schankweiler

>> You can vote for Marci on our Facebook page September 24-30. Mark your calendar!

Name: Marci Schankweiler

Occupation: President and Founder of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
My late husband, Pete, passed away at age 30 of testicular cancer. His death taught me that life is fragile and that we should care for our bodies, our minds and our spirits because we only get one of each! When we learned that we could not fix his physical health—the cancer was too far gone—we decided that we would nurture our mental, emotional and spiritual health and take a long break from cancer. We took a 17 day respite to relax, refresh and rejuvenate for what was sure to be a long journey ahead.

Today, I am remarried to a man who reminds me to seize the day, and we have two beautiful daughters. My family inspires me to be as healthy as I can be, so that I can ensure I am setting a good example and also that I will be around for a long time. I want my girls to grow up loving themselves and appreciate the things that their body can accomplish when they take care of it.

Additionally, my work with For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation shows me that we tend to take our health for granted. In one instant, our lives can change with a cancer diagnosis. While we have regimens to help our physical fight against cancer, our mental health is just as critical. I am motivated each day by the many families we serve at FPS to help them address the psycho-social needs caused by a cancer diagnosis.

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Meet a Health Hero: Robert Bulgarelli

>> You can vote for Dr. Bulgarelli on our Facebook page September 24-30. Mark your calendar!

Name: Robert Bulgarelli, DO

Occupation: Director of Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine at Main Line Health and Cardiologist at Riddle Hospital

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
My family, my patients and my passion to connect science and spirituality.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
When I learned to meditate. It was the absolute point of no return on my pursuit of a more integrative approach to my own health and for my patients.

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Meet a Health Hero: Jeffrey Brous

>> You can vote for Jeffrey on our Facebook page September 24-30. Mark your calendar!

Name: Jeffrey Brous

Occupation: Personal Trainer at Horsham Athletic Club

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I have two primary sources of motivation: first there is myself. I like to be my primary motivator so when I mess up or slip-up, I am the only one I can hold accountable. The second source of motivation is chef/professor Adam Sacks at Johnson & Wales University. While it’s been years since we’ve connected, his lessons continue to motivate me. In fact, the cornerstone of what he shared is the foundation of what I teach today: FLY- First Love Yourself.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
The biggest “turning point” or “a-ha” moment, as I have told to many students, was when I came out of the closet. The emotional pressure and strain was absolutely the worst. Instead of finding healthful solutions to manage the stress, I turned to eating. And I ate until I was over 400 pounds. I came out of the closet my first year of college, and it was in those moments that I finally understood that I have control over what I do. Ever since them, I have taken control and been in control. This doesn’t mean that I have been perfect the entire time; no one person is perfect. It’s not about how you fall. It’s about how you choose to get up and move forward that counts.

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Live chat: Eagles Vs. Jets

Join Tim and Sheil for a live chat as the Eagles close out the preseason against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Meet a Health Hero: Ryan Oelkers

>> You can vote for Ryan on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Ryan Oelkers

Occupation: Co-founder and Senior Director of Operations for Cadence Cycling Foundation

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Since 2007, I’ve been fortunate enough to help over 600 kids get involved in the sport of cycling as the co-founder of the Cadence Cycling Foundation. Part of the mission of the foundation is to use cycling as a tool to help Philadelphia youth grow into healthy, happy and responsible adults. A couple of youth in the program have even lost over 100 pounds! The participants in the program continue to inspire me with their amazing hard work and dedication. Additionally, I’m the father of four kids and I want to be around a long time to see them grow up.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
Being a professional cyclist offered me the opportunity to meet amazing people, travel the world and learn valuable life skills. Now I get to pass on these great experiences and skills to the kids in the Cadence Cycling Foundation. It’s great to be able to combine my love of cycling and help youth in the Philadelphia area.

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Meet a Health Hero: Mark Spann

>> You can vote for Mark on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Mark Spann

Occupation: Tennis Coach and Owner of Upper Dublin Sports Center

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Mental health is my passion. The young mind is like a rubber band. It stretches in many directions.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
In the early days of coaching, it alarmed me how many young people fell out of sport. The one-cap-fits-all philosophy was not working for everyone.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
Meeting people where they are at. Adopting approaches to attract the multitudes.

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Meet a Health Hero: Leslie Marant

>> You can vote for Leslie on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Leslie Marant

Occupation: Co-ambassador for Black Girls RUN! Philadelphia and Owner of Temple Building Fitness

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Three things motivate me to be healthy: the mental and physical benefits I receive from living a healthy lifestyle; the example I set for my children and family; and my desire to inspire others (clients, running group members, Black Girls Run! Philadelphia, coworkers) to change and live healthier lives. I get a great sense of accomplishment from seeing lower blood-pressure numbers at each annual physical, lifting heavier weights, improving my endurance and running faster. I also want to give my children a legacy of healthy living so they don’t have to care for me because I made poor lifestyle choices. As a personal trainer and coach it’s important for me to practice what I preach, be an example and set a standard.  I enjoy demonstrating that it’s possible to be healthy and active in spite of the many demands on our time.

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Birds 24/7 Is Looking For an Intern

Birds 24/7 is seeking an intern to start immediately and work through the 2013 NFL season.

The candidate will help Sheil and Tim update the site, work on special projects and assist with social media. Motivated interns may have opportunities to produce original content, but this is not a writing internship.

Getting McManus coffee from Wawa and helping Kapadia jump-start the old Civic may be required as well.

The ideal candidate will be extremely detail-oriented and have experience in online journalism. Deep knowledge of the Eagles and the NFL is a must. Knowledge of SEO, web headline writing, Photoshop, WordPress and other content management systems, and professional use of social media is a plus, but not required.

Candidates must be enrolled in school (at an undergraduate or graduate level) to participate in our internship program and must be local to the Philadelphia area. Internships are unpaid, but may be used to receive academic credit.

Please note that we require interns to put in a minimum of three days a week at our Center City office.

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter and resume to research editor Malcolm Burnley at

Meet a Health Hero: Sue Daugherty

>> You can vote for Sue on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Sue Daugherty

Occupation: Executive director of Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Life motivates me. In the grand scheme of things we have such a small amount of time—there are so many memories to create, people to meet, places to visit, opportunities to do good and folks to love. I truly believe if you have your health you have everything—good health is a gift every day. Unfortunately in my line of work I see folks fighting for their health, battling serious illness, and it makes me so very aware of what it takes to fight back from a crippling disease. I will never take my health for granted!

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