Sydney Greenspun

Condition: I was born with V.A.C.T.E.R.L syndrome, which caused some complications at birth.Many of my other symptoms included in the syndrome were taken care of at an early age. My leg is the most noticeable part of the syndrome. I was born without a Tibia and Fibula part of my leg, meant that I would need an above the knee prosthetic leg. I received my first prosthetic when I was 15 months old.

I came to C.O.R.E because I had grown up learning poor gait mechanics and with the help of Taylor, I am building strength in my little leg to help control my prosthetic. He is also helping me better my posture.  

Hobbies: I’m passionate for learning. I try my best to enter every situation with an open mind and theeagerness to gain something out of an experience. My favorite subjects in school are History and English. My passion is writing stories and poetry. I also dream of traveling the world, but most of all I want to go around the world to help those less fortunate than I.

How C.O.R.E changed my life: I grew up thinking I was always going to be the disabled girl who walked around with a bad limp and poor posture. This effected me on both a physical and emotional level. Once I came to CORE, something new happened. I met everyone there and immediately they became my family. Especially Taylor, who is the incredible, sensible person I work with. He has helped me gain strength and a new outlook to living a life with a challenge. Through sensible, humorous discussion and devotion I’ve never seen, CORE has really changed my life. As I work with Taylor, my eyes are now open to all the opportunities around me and he is also helping me break down all the roadblocks. Not only am I getting around better, I have a new found confidence that I could have never achieved with any other physical therapist. I have created a bond with the other trainers and their clients, who I love to cheer on as they achieve some of their goals. I admire everything C.O.R.E does and all the miracles they create with knowledge and passion.

Joe Nernberg

is our end of the year Featured Client! In every way, Joe embodies dedication. He willingly and consistently works hard for his health, wealth and happiness. We salute your tenacity Mr. Nernberg!

TITLE: Certified building inspector, general contractor, electrical contractor, HVAC contractor and plumbing contractor

INJURY/CONDITION: T-11, paraplegia

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Watching my kids grow up, reading, spooning with Tina

My daily dose of optimism. Improvement is mental as well. There is an aura of compassion at C.O.R.E. and seeing other clients regain there strength is enormously encouraging.

Michael Portzen


-Photography, I enjoy taking outdoor photographs of landscapes, wilderness, and trees.
-I also collect black and white photos of football players, these photos consists of famous football players shot in an extreme play. My favorite back and white photo is when Bart Starr made a touchdown in the ice bowl in the year 1967.
-A passion of mine has always been guitar playing- was in several bands over the course of time. I started playing when he I was ajunior high school all the way through college. Type of music I played was the blues and classic rock!!

-Favorite team is the Green bay Packers. I wear a Green bay Packers shirt every day to CORE.  I have been a fan for my entire life. My favorite player Paul Hornung.

-Interested in Airplanes so that lead me to my first job as a photographer. My first job was a flight test photographer at Lockheed. I have been in the back of planes while sooting photos.

-I love dogs and Ive had them my entire life.

-I prefer to watch older movies in black and white. My favorite black and white movie is Citizen Kane, made in the year 1939.

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? -It has given me hope that I will make progress to recover. I have become more positive throughout the process. I keep consistently coming to sessions, even when I do not feel like coming. I have seen improvements and that is what keeps me going. Core will also help me with my long term goal with achieving the ability to play the guitar again.!!

Judy Morris

I experienced a stroke on July 7th 2013

Until my stroke my husband and I had a very busy life. We enjoyed going to the theater, the Hollywood Bowl, dining out, and world widetraveling. I also loved to cook and spend lots of quality time with my four grandchildren.

I hadbeen going to all kinds of therapies and had home health care services. Unfortunately my progress had been very slow. Luckily A friend told us about C.O.R.E. and I signed up. I am so glad I did!

C.O.R.E. has helped and encouraged me to achieve goals that I never thought I would be able to do. I am moving so much better, and I'm even starting to do a little cooking.

Thank you people of C.O.R.E.

Rachel Weissberger

What initially brought you to CORE?

I was trying to exercise at home without guidelines or supervision, I found myself spending more time treating my injuries than exercising.

Knowing how important exercise is for one's health and with theinsistence of my daughter, I decided to find a gym and a trainer. I discovered CORE in one of my visits to the pharmacy next door, and after talking to Laquita I decided it's a match.


What injuries/conditions do you have?

Mainly, my mother had a very advance Osteoporosis and I was beginning to show signs of it in my medical tests. I also suffer from low energy where I get tired easily (low endurance) . My injuries after exercising on my own were mainly in my lower back and my hips, sometime my neck.

What are your interests / hobbies / passions?

My hobbies includes:

a. Reading, I love to read novels, suspense/mystery, historical novels.

b. Painting, (My passion) I have been creating many oil paintings and displayed them in art shows locally and in other states. My website:


How has CORE affected your life?

It's been a year and 2 month since I first started exercising at CORE. I must say my life has taken a positive path: I feel stronger and I am getting stronger, I have more energy my balance and coordination improved.


I love my trainer and the staff at CORE, it is a special treat to be there and exercise there under the supervision of the expert trainers. 

Visit Rachel's website:

Kenny Potts

INJURY: C4,5,6, C5 burst fracture. C4,5,6 fused together with a plate.

HOBBIES: Outdoor activities, snow skiing, camping, goofing around with my RC car

INTERESTS: Motocross, UFC, rebuilding my truck

PASSIONS: I am very passionate about regaining my physical body. I train 6-7 days a week. Regaining my independence is very important.

HOW HAS/DOES CORE AFFECT YOUR LIFE? I've been training at CORE since December 2014, and boy has my strength and endurance changed in 7 months. CORE has given me the opportunities to experience Red Bull Wings for Life World Run. ...Braunability's Indy Car Race Day, Snow skiing with fellow CORE attendees. The staff is keeping me focused on achieving my goals and giving me the positive support I need to move forward. Thank you CORE for giving me this opportunity...

FOLLOW Kenny @

Instagram: k_potts86

acebook: Finish Strong Kenny Potts

Sarah Pettersen

TITLE: Student, Moorpark College



HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?  C.O.R.E has affected my life in a huge way. Everyone from C.O.R.E is so supportive. They encourage me to get up everyday and try harder. They have helped me so much throughout my recovery physically and even emotionally. C.O.R.E has changed my life!



Instagram: @sarahhpettersen 

Gino Alfonso - Macauley

TITLE: Student / Athlete 

INJURY/CONDITION: Cervical Disk Herniations, Degenerative Disk Disease 

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: I am an mechanical engineering student at california state university: northridge. I race go karts at a national/international level and hope to continue climbing the ladder to get into full sized cars. 


I was recently in a bad karting accident during a race at the Modesto Grand Prix. I tapped a barrier, flipped, and was ejected from the go kart. This ended up causing herniations in my cervical spine and was told by doctors that I need to stop racing. I told them that's not possible I have too much passion to stop pursuing my dream. C.O.R.E. is helping me realign my posture, strengthen my neck and helping me be more aware of my body mechanics both in the race car and in regular everyday life. With everyone's help at C.O.R.E. I'm training to be ready for the race season opener of the premier SKUSA Prokart Challenge.

FOLLOW ME ON: Facebook

Pat Hrupcho

Injury/Condition: Severe congenital spinal stenosis with nerve damage

Hobbies/Interests/Passions: Family, Baseball (obsessed with the NY Mets), Cooking, Baking, Canning, and now working out at C.O.R.E..

How has/does C.O.R.E. affect your life: How do I begin to explain about the people & place that I truly believe has saved my life and given me the quality of living that everyone deserves. I started C.O.R.E. on my birthday (literally) 2 years ago and have not looked back. The inspiration, support from everyone that is there, in such a unique environment is AMAZING. Before C.O.R.E. I was in such discomfort (due to my back) that everything was a chore and painful. I had one back surgery done, then Taylor showed me that diligence and dedication is the real solution to life. With my weight loss and almost daily workouts he has changed my life and I look forward to everyday. Laquita is always so welcoming and encouraging. Britney Doug, Christy, and Robert are there for me whenever I have questions, to step up my workout, or need encouragement. C.O.R.E. is a 2nd family that wants the best for you at all times. 

It's too bad that the uniqueness and specialness of C.O.R.E. can't be bottled and given to everyone in need. There sure are a lot of people in need of such gifted people. 

Barbara Llanes

TITLE: Retired Mom with an AMAZING daughter named Tara

INJURY/CONDITION: About 8 years ago I had a knee replacement and didn't receive proper physical therapy initially, which caused me to walk with a bent knee.  Being busy with others things I didn't even realize how gradually it was causing my posture and bodily alignment to get completely off.  Walking with a bent knee caused me to bend at the hips when I walked and over time, this not only aggravated my knees and hips but also my back.  I reached a point a few years ago where I couldn't stand or walk for more that 15 minutes without having quite a bit of back pain. This led to deterioration and arthritis in my hips causing me to have both hips replaced. So yes, now I'm bionic and set of all the alarms at LAX!!!

Aaron and his family came into our lives and then opened C.O.R.E. and we knew what an amazing place it was, but it was so far away, I never really considered it, plus I also thought it was for spinal cord injury.  While joining my daughter there for her sessions, I realized there were other people there without spinal cord injury that were also being helped.  With some sweet persuasion from my daughter, next thing I knew I was at C.O.R.E. for an evaluation with Taylor and going to C.O.R.E. three times a week.


INTERESTS/HOBBIES:  I've always enjoyed the outdoors and sports ever since I was little and got to have a second childhood when I  coached my daughter and her friends in some of the sport I had enjoyed myself.

I really enjoy  bicycling of any type.  I did the Aids ride from San Francisco to LA twice and enjoy mountain biking.  I also enjoy camping and traveling.


HOW HAS C.O.R.E. IMPACTED YOUR LIFE? After driving from Orange County to C.O.R.E. three times a week for a year I realize it was well worth the time and effort.  The people are amazing there!!  Taylor and his "Taylor-isms" always got me through the day!! I worked with Doug most of the time and we bonded and will always have a special friendship.  Everyone there makes it fun to go and they all feel like a family.  My left knee is VERY close to straight, I stand straight now and have gotten so much stronger on both sides and feel more evened out.  I am walking 30 min. 2-3 times a week without any pain and actually enjoy it since I'm walking pretty normal.  


Now that I have "graduated" from C.O.R.E. I still have my programs to do Mon.-Wed.-Fri.  I just don't have to be on the road 3-5 hours to do it.  WooHoo!!  But I do miss seeing everyone and it's only been a week!  Before C.O.R.E. I felt 20 years older than my age, now I feel 20 years younger than my age - so I think that means I've gain 40 years back!!!  Not bad, heh!  ( Had to get a little Canadian in there for my Canadian Daughter in Law!!) 


Love you all at C.O.R.E.

Alan Wilken

Title:  Attorney, Retired

Injury:  C-4,5 tetraplegia with central cord syndrome; 10th & 12th cranial nerve damage -- all from having too much fun on my bicycle in July 2012.

Interests, etc.:  Maximizing my recovery; keeping my wife happy; reading/listening to newspapers, magazines and books. 

C.O.R.E.'s Impact:  The limitations from my injury are as much psychological as physical.  C.O.R.E.'s individualized training program lifts me from my wheelchair, and the commitment and enthusiasm of C.O.R.E's personnel and clients lift my spirit.  More than a place for exercise, there is a genuine and unique "esprit de C.O.R.E."

Kimberly Totolo

Title:  Special Events Coordinator - Nonprofits

Condition/Injury: Achondroplasia, Spinal Stenosis/SCI 1992

Hobbies/Interests/Passions: Music, Movies, Photography, Art, Road trips, Observing & Learning, Socializing & Laughing .. all to the best of my ability & beyond. 

How Has/Does CORE Affect Your Life?  C.O.R.E has not only been my center for restoring my fitness regime but restoring my faith in when one door closes another one opens, literally - 

On Jan. 4, 2013 when I rolled into C.O.R.E.  my faith that I can become the best of my ability was reenergized.  KEY ;  When you have the proper exercise program designed for you, exercise equipment accessible to you , that stress is gone & it allows you to give more time to concentrate & work on your physical & mental being which then allows you to better enjoy the other aspects of your everyday life.  


Plus, the supportive system of everyone (CORE Crew & Clients) is invaluable & there is never a day I  leave feeling uninspired.

Ronny Weinreich

TITLE: Musician


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Music / Business / Philosophy

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?  While seeking for a solid solution for my exercise regiment in California, I was blessed enough to hear about a place called CORE which would quickly become the new "HomeBase" for my ongoing rehabilitation and physical improvement. “Home” because the management and staff are like a second family who seek solely for my best interest and provide unconditional positivity at all times. “Base” because the knowhow, discipline, and loyalty that they bring to the game is unparalleled, like an elite special-ops team in their field. In our lives there are experts and institutions who preach the impotent realities of probability; and then there are the unrelenting and brave creators who revel in the fields of beautiful and endless possibility. Choose. CORE.

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Christopher Voelker

C.O.R.E. client Christopher Voelker  is also a resident of Otherness; a place we know as familiar but extraordinary, comprehensible but unimaginable as well.  The same may be said of any true artist, but Christopher is a wheelchair user and a true artist both.

From the age of 17, as the result of a high-speed motocross accident, Voelker has been living with a disability, but not directed by it.  During his long, life-altering rehabilitation from that spinal injury, Chris discovered his love of photography.  It became his life's passion, the medium of his art; while the rich and strange otherness of B&W photography became his special obsession. With a special Ode’ to heroes Avedon, Penn, Brandt, Cartier Bresson, Hurrell.

Once described as "Hurrell on acid"Chris' images capture vestiges of a midnight world.  Unconscious memory and inexplicable emotion are captured in the light of day. And we viewers become as dreamers awake.

Voelker has shifted his focus temporarily, being an ambassador with The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Voelker has found it an honor and great responsibility taken with great pride. "The making portraits for the newly released Paralysis Resource Guide was a dream assignment. Photographing those who possess such talent, drive, and happen to be disabled, makes for a palate of ongoing creativity to convey such diversity and uniqueness was an honor that lasted for a year of portraits. My ultimate desire is to capture a person living with a disability as a creative work of art while removing the stigma of illogical stereotyping," said Voelker. "I am proud to work with the Reeve Foundation to help spread awareness of its mission to help individuals living with spinal cord injuries, and hope it opens the doors for people living with paralysis to jump into their dreams of delving into the arts."In a strange way I feel I am photographing myself in this unique ballet of image making.

The Paralysis Resource Guide is free to anyone requesting one by calling toll free at: 1-800-539-7309 . The PRG is also available in the Kindle edition and can be downloaded  at for free as well.

As a commercial photographer Highly regarded as a working professional in the entertainment community, and working with top record labels, networks and studios, Chris has shot the likes of  Rhianna, Beyonce, Mick Fleetwood, Lauryn Hill,  Billy Zane,David Lynch, Ringo Star, Carmen Electra, Christina Applegate, Beyonce, Bow Wow, and Brandy... to name a few. This is Voelker’s “day Job” if you will. Working in the entertainment community if fun, wacky, and a living in the studio.

Voelker makes his home above his state of the art studio with his Wife & muse  Melanie and his two hairless kitties Smeagol & Zizzles

To see an extensive portfolio of Voelker’s work visit his site at

Amanda Timm

TITLE: Student/Skier/Traveler

INJURY/CONDITION: Spinal Cord Injury, T- 5/6

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Skiing, Surfing, Skating, Traveling, Food, Health/Fitness, Art and Music.

It makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly that has spread its wings and taken flight for the first time

Friend Amanda on:
Follow Amanda on:
Live it Love it Foundation Ambassador:

Andrew Skinner

TITLE:  Husband, Father, Philanthropist

 INJURY/CONDITION: C 4, 5, 6  Recovering Quadriplegic

 HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS:  Husband/father, Triumph Foundation, real estate, Quad rugby, waterskiing, flying, surfing, outdoor adventures.



 C.O.R.E. has changed my life by giving me a place to exercise and train with adaptive exercise equipment outside of a hospital setting. It has also allowed me to see exercise and rehab specialists to receive care beyond medical intervention.  In addition C.O.R.E. is the heart of the disabled community, where people of all ages and from all walks of life come together to work towards maximizing their potential.  It is great to have fellowship with others that share similar life experiences and have common goals. C.O.R.E. has also given a second home to the charity I’m involved with called Triumph Foundation.  It is a place I can refer people to, set up meetings at, and network with others. There is a genuine need for facilities like C.O.R.E in every place that has a population that includes individuals struggling with catastrophic injuries, chronic conditions, or illnesses.  We are so fortunate to have C.O.R.E. in our community.  It has empowered me to improve my quality of life.

Garrett Robinson



HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Motocross, Go-Karts, Polaris RZR, football, baseball, hockey, Hand-Cycling, Being with friends and family

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? CORE has affected so many aspects in my life that I will forever be grateful for. Its a place where i can feel comfortable working out and where I can be accompannied by individuals who are faced with similar injuries who I can relate to. I have also met many people with overwhelming obstacles who I have been humbled by and I aspire to be. It has not only improved my life physically, but it has especially impacted my life emotionally. CORE has given me such a sense of security within its commutity to where I can always look to any one of its members and find an answer to any question or problem that I may be faced with. It is run by gifted and inspirational people who give you the tools to strive for a more healthy and productive lifestyle. CORE is all about a community that pulls out the BEST out of each individual. 

Marc Richards

TITLE: Captain, Team Rise Above


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Health and fitness, Computers

HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? The CORE community, the facilities and the people are extraordinary and something I look forward to being a constant part of.

IN HIS OWN WORDS... I only wish there were two Taylors so I could see him more than once a week. I'm grateful that he has helpers. Working with Jen has been very helpful. I can see his influence in her abilities.


Cynthia Ramirez

TITLE: Mother/Cosmetologist/Hair-Stylist/Disability Rights Advocate

INJURY: Spinal Cord Injury / Level  T12 Incomplete- June 1st 2008

HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: I love Exercise, Fitness & Health Advocacy, Adaptive Recreation Activities, Wellness- Mind, Body & Spirit Fashion, Fashion Design, Photography, Modeling, Music, Travel, Reading & Writing all subjects.

HOW DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE? S.P.I.R.I.T... I try to find STRENGTH physically and emotionally by working out (at CORE) and staying active by participating in recreational/social activities. PERSEVERANCE gotta "keep it moving” in all areas of life, especially exercise... Very Important! INDEPENDENCE, I try to do something new that I couldn’t do or haven’t learned to do yet to become more and  more independent each day... I surprise myself often! REHABILITATE, stay focus and motivate and work hard during my “walking” therapy sessions and workouts... All in a day’s work, I hope to be INSPIRED or inspire others. If those things have been accomplished, then I have TRIUMPH!

IN HER OWN WORDS: After my injury, what helps me “keep it moving” is my  daughter Brianna & my S.P.I.R.I.T. I always say I will not be defeated by my disability! I face life with a positive attitude and try to get the most out of each day. I am currently pursuing a career in Fashion and working on making my entrepreneur dreams into a reality.

Find Cynthia on FaceBook

January 4, 2014



Cynthia Ramirez is an outgoing, positive and cheerful person who always lends a bright smile. Pair that with a relentless exercise regimen and hard work and it makes for one kick ass female! A member for over two years, Cynthia has become an integral part of the C.O.R.E. family and not only does she show up for her regular routine, but also for any event (camera in tow!) that C.O.R.E. holds.

Although the past two years seem to have passed by in a snap, Cynthia says, "I have to stop and think about this period of time and how everything about my life has changed; I feel the improvement in my health, rehabilitation, way of living and social life."

She explains, “I keep coming to C.O.R.E. and keep up with my exercises because I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when my body is active as well as when my body is feeling sore from a great cardio work out! Just knowing that I’m doing something healthy for myself, by myself, to improve myself, is an incredibly empowering feeling. C.O.R.E. has become one of the places where I feel more like myself, than anywhere else.”

Cynthia continues, “I know that at any time I can come here independently, use the exercise equipment with minimum assistance, be on my own and get a good work out in. And, at the same time, I know that I will catch up and bump into friends who inspire and motivate me. A chance to be involved with my peers is absolutely priceless!

Moreover, Cynthia herself has recognized that her body has changed tremendously. She admits, “I’m much more active now:  my endurance and strength has grown. I have also worked on my body mechanics, posture, flexibility and a walking program. One of my goals is to continue to push on with my bracing walking program to increase the number of steps I’m taking and the amount of time I endure while standing. I believe in my abilities and C.O.R.E. plays a huge part in helping me achieve these goals physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Thank you Cynthia – we love watching you soar as you #RiseAbove!

Vanessa Osman

INJURY: Spinal Cord Injury C5-C6, Tetraplegia


HOBBIES/INTERESTS/PASSIONS: Writing, reading, observing, learning, dreaming, loving, sharing, living!


HOW HAS/DOES C.O.R.E. AFFECT YOUR LIFE?  C.O.R.E. is an essential part of my life. Getting evaluated last December before the holidays and starting off 2012 consistently has given me a sense of direction, a renewed interest in my health as well as hope to change whatever possible. I have been proven wrong in thinking that I had plateaued as an "old injury" when, in fact, over the past several months I have regained some sensory and motor function. I joined C.O.R.E. and it is one the best gifts I have ever given myself; I have changed my physical being but more importantly, I allowed my life to be changed - and that it has!


...Earlier this year Vanessa took the initiative to get in touch with The Chanda Plan who is affiliated with C.O.R.E. Centers. The Chanda Plan offers support to individuals with an array of conditions including Spinal Cord Injury by offering integrative therapies in order to sustain a quality of life. Commenting upon her experience, Vanessa stated, "The Chanda Plan has been an amazing opportunity and I am forever Grateful. Furthermore, Chanda herself and her story are what really grabbed my attention and my heartstrings for her story is an incredible feat of a Survivor. The experience from start to finish has made me want to do better and greater things in my life. She is quite the inspiration!"