Healthy Choices

News and inspiration for healthy living in Northern California

August 9, 2013
Singing registered nurse lifts spirits and health outcomes

Jared Axen, 26, is slighty shy, it's been reported. But you wouldn't know it from the registered nurse's performance here. Watch this video from the Los Angeles Times for a look at real patient-centered health care:

May 31, 2013
Twenty-somethings facing cancer show surprising strength

Samantha Cosentino, 23, recently walked into a bicycle shop in her hometown of Chico, with her head hairless from chemotherapy treatments. A clerk asked about her shaved head: "What did you do, lose a bet?" in a glass-half-full sort of way.

To the clerk, Cosentino looked healthy and radiant. But this twenty-something is battling stage 4 breast cancer and is preparing for radiation and another round of chemo at Stanford Hospital.

Last year, Cosentino inspired a leadership class at Marsh Junior High in Chico with her battle with breast cancer, She had told a local newspaper that, at first, doctors refused to take her and her tennis-ball-sized tumor seriously. She pressed forward and finally found a doctor who understood that even young adults can be vulnerable to cancer.

A group of girls from the class went on to organize a fundraiser to help Cosentino pay medical bills. Just last Saturday, they raised about $1,600, said their teacher, Lisa Reynolds."The girls are all walking on cloud nine with the great feeling of helping someone in need," Reynolds said.

Cosentino, who had chemo before surgery and is now starting a round of radiation with a year of chemotherapy to follow, "is a little interview shy at this point," Reynolds said.

But for an idea of what she's going through, see this video from The New York Times about the paper's "Life, Interrupted" columnist, another twenty-something bravely facing the disease and writing about it.

VIDEO: This New York Times video shows Life, Interrupted columnist Suleika Jaouad as she reflects on how cancer affects young adults.

May 20, 2013
Sacramento child entrepreneur launches healthy-eating app

Nicolas Cone describes himself as a "picky eater." But at his ripe old age of eight years, Nicolas has found a way to share what he does like to eat with other kids and families.

Turns out, he likes his food straight from the garden, and even enjoys cooking fresh foods.

So he's designed a mobile app and website called Nicolas' Garden to encourage other kids to dive into healthy eating by growing their own food, sharing their favorite recipes, supporting farmers' markets and playing games on the app.

He unveiled his creation at Soil Born Farm's annual "Day on the Farm" event in Rancho Cordova last weekend.

Now he's focusing his efforts on scoring a dinner with the Obamas, having been impressed by First Lady Michelle Obama's well-known fondness for gardening.

About Healthy Choices

Cynthia CraftCynthia H. Craft began her reporting and editing career in Columbus, Ohio, after graduating from Ohio State University. She worked at a Dallas, Texas, newspaper as an editor, and then at the Los Angeles Times, as an editor and Capitol Bureau correspondent. After working as editor in chief at the California Journal, Craft went to Lima, Peru, for three years as a visiting professor of journalism at Peruana Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas. She was a fellow in 2012 at the National Library for Medicine in Washington, D.C. at the National Institute for Health. She's currently The Sacramento Bee's senior writer on health, a position made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.

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On Twitter: @cynthiahcraft.

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