Gwen Poon knows bodies inside and out – literally. During the day, Dr. Poon is a radiologist at Kaiser Permanente. She also owns and operates Fit 36, a fitness club in Folsom specializing in high intensity, interval training, a highly effective and efficient way to train.
Gwen is an energetic, positive woman who celebrates her achievements by giving back to her community through Burpees for Boobies. This fundraiser for Albie Aware combines Gwen’s role in helping breast cancer patients and her passion for fitness.
A Medical Professional
A doctor for 19 years, Gwen started at Kaiser in 2006 after training at UCD Medical Center. Approximately 50% of her professional time is spent in breast imaging. In addition to interpreting screening mammograms and working up those exams that are suspicious for cancer, Gwen also performs biopsies if needed. She follows up with her patients to review the results and refers them to the surgery department if indicated.
She works in a team comprising of radiologists, surgeons, oncologists, nurse coordinators, and other breast care staff. “It’s very much a team effort,” says Gwen. “I’m proud to be part of that team.”
A Fitness Expert
“Growing up in an immigrant family, life was all about surviving and getting an education,” she says. “Exercise was not on the radar except during PE at school.”
In her 30s, she had two kids who were involved with sports. At 39, Gwen realized that she needed physical activity herself, so she invested her time in becoming stronger at a gym and became addicted. She says, “I loved the camaraderie of having others to work out with.”
Gwen and her husband, Mike, decided they wanted their own gym. In March 2017, they opened Fit 36. “It’s related to what I do at work,” she explains. “It’s all about health. It’s good both physically and emotionally.”
A fit lifestyle extends to their children. Daughter Kat, 16, finds that running helps keep her spirits up. Son Mathew, 17, in an essay on how his family could live a healthier life, said, “We already do this. It’s normal, like brushing your teeth.”
“I’m proud,” says Gwen, “that they don’t see this as a chore. It’s part of their routine.”
Second Annual Burpees for Boobies
Helping breast cancer patients, along with her passion for fitness, led Gwen to host and support Burpees for Boobies. Albie Aware will be their proud recipient of this year’s fundraising event.
Participants gather donations or pledges based on how many burpees they can do in 36 minutes. On October 4, 2019, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm, they will do burpees to raise funds for Albie Aware.
Why 36 minutes? Gwen explains, “The philosophy at our gym is that quality counts more than quantity.
Anyone can come in and do this at their own pace. It’s not how many you can do compared to somebody else. If it’s five burpees, that’s what it is.”
“We’re going to have a live DJ providing music,” she says. “It’s going to be a party.” Last year, survivors and spectators came to cheer on participants and count burpees.
The Albie Aware Connection
Gwen’s associate, Dr. Claudia DeYoung, is a member of the Albie Aware Medical Advisory Board. She made Gwen aware of the organization’s local focus and Gwen wanted to keep the proceeds from Burpees for Boobies in the community. Albie Aware was a natural fit.
Helping Others as a Way of Life
“At Fit 36, we support one another and are passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. We want people to be better versions of themselves. It gives me so much joy. I am a positive and proactive person and no matter what situation life throws at you, you have a role in the outcome. Exercise is both physically and mentally beneficial. This is a gift I’ve given myself.”
Advice About Exercise and Breast Cancer
“Don’t exercise right after surgery. Once scars are healed, exercise as soon as you are physically able. If there is a medical reason not to… don’t! Work out when you can at your own level. Physical activity is so important to healing our minds and keeping us in a positive journey.”
Want to participate in Burpees for Boobies?
- Sign up at Fit 36 in Folsom or by calling them to get on the participants list. Click Here for more information and Click Here for a donation form.
- Collect pledges based on how many burpees (squat thrusts) you can do in 36 minutes. Flat donations are welcome too!
Join us on October 4 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and do your Burpees for Boobies!