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Health notes for Aug. 22, 2017

Senior project targets cancer

A Superior High School student is using her senior project to advance the fight against colon cancer.

Sarah Cannon, 17, is a member of the student business club DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), and for her senior project is coordinating the group's annual fundraising tailgating party ahead of the Spartans' Sept. 15 home football game.

The event will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex at the high school. It will include "tacos in a bag," a photo booth, games and a 50-50 drawing, Cannon said. All of the proceeds will go to the Minnesota-based Colon Cancer Coalition in memory of Cannon's aunt, Janelle (Cannon) Langdon of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., who died at age 46 on Dec. 6 after a 7½-year fight with colon cancer.

The check will be presented at halftime to Anna Dahlgren, a colon cancer survivor who lives in Duluth. Dahlgren, whose cancer fight was profiled in an Oct. 11 Health section article, will accept it on behalf of the coalition.

Health and the state fair

They might not seem to go together, but here are a couple of places you can go for health screenings while you're at the Minnesota State Fair:

• Free and low-cost screenings provided by 16 organizations at Health Fair 11 at the Fair, in the Crossroads building at Dan Patch Avenue and Cooper Street. The building is open daily during the fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Among other screenings: blood pressure checks, hearing assessments, blood typing.

• Free memory screenings offered by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and Bluestone Physician Services at the Minnesota State Fair Campground, 1265 Snelling Ave.

The fair begins Thursday and runs through Labor Day.

Back(pack) to school

With the school year about to begin, physical therapists are reminding us about the precautions we, and our youngsters, should take regarding backpacks.

Here are some tips from ATI Physical Therapy, a privately held company based in Bolingbrook, Ill.:

• Fit is important: Your backpack shouldn't be wider than your torso. The shoulder strap anchor points shouldn't extend more than 1 or 2 inches below the top of your shoulders. The bottom of your bag shouldn't extend more than 1 or 2 inches below your waistline. The straps should fit snugly.

• Get a backpack with wide, padded adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back panel.

• Wear both shoulder straps as well as the waist strap. Throwing just one strap over one shoulder will offset your center of balance.

• Ditch unnecessary weight. You shouldn't carry more than 10 to 15 percent of your body weight in your bag.

• Choose a backpack with multiple compartments to help balance the load.

• When picking up your bag, keep your spine in a neutral position and lift using your legs.

Medicare 101

A "Welcome to Medicare" class is being provided by Senior LinkAge Line through the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging between 10 a.m. and noon on Sept. 19 at the Arrowhead Regional Development Center, 201 W. First St. To schedule an appointment, call Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433. No fee is charged, but donations are appreciated.

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