Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carla Stillwagon, Kiersten Gallagher & Erin Price

Read with Smith Center

Welcome to “Read with Smith Center,” a community of book lovers diving in to current and relevant book material.

Please stay tuned for our upcoming book choices!


Read with Smith Center will meet Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • May 4 & 18
  • June 8 & 22

Click here to choose Smith Center for Healing and the Arts as your charity of choice when you shop on Amazon Smile!


About Carla Stillwagon

Carla serves as the Cancer Support Program & Retreat Coordinator at Smith Center. During her time at the center, Carla has been inspired to further develop her commitment to the arts and their invaluable role in healing and community. She is excited to share her favorite pastime, reading, in this group and hopes to hear all about your favorite things to read!

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

About Erin Price, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

Click here to register for the 4-part series. 

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. Please stay tuned for the theme of this 4-part series!

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on April 20th.

Program Dates:

  • April 20
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • May 11

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carla Stillwagon, Kiersten Gallagher & Erin Price

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

Welcome to “Read with Smith Center,” a community of book lovers diving in to current and relevant book material.

Our upcoming book selection is Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad. 

Read the description from Amazon Smile:

In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter “the real world.” She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.
It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.
When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.
How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.

We will begin the book discussion on Tuesday, March 16th and continue through April (6th & 20th). Please register to be notified of the pages to prepare for each session. We also encourage you to join if only for the vibrant discussion!


Read with Smith Center will meet Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • April 6 & 20
  • May 4 & 18
  • June 8 & 22

Click here to choose Smith Center for Healing and the Arts as your charity of choice when you shop on Amazon Smile!


About Carla Stillwagon

Carla serves as the Cancer Support Program & Retreat Coordinator at Smith Center. During her time at the center, Carla has been inspired to further develop her commitment to the arts and their invaluable role in healing and community. She is excited to share her favorite pastime, reading, in this group and hopes to hear all about your favorite things to read!

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

About Erin Price, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carla Stillwagon, Kiersten Gallagher & Erin Price

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

Welcome to “Read with Smith Center,” a community of book lovers diving in to current and relevant book material.

Our upcoming book selection is Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad. 

Read the description from Amazon Smile:

In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter “the real world.” She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.
It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.
When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.
How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.

We will begin the book discussion on Tuesday, March 16th and continue through April (6th & 20th). Please register to be notified of the pages to prepare for each session. We also encourage you to join if only for the vibrant discussion!


Read with Smith Center will meet Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • April 6 & 20
  • May 4 & 18
  • June 8 & 22

Click here to choose Smith Center for Healing and the Arts as your charity of choice when you shop on Amazon Smile!


About Carla Stillwagon

Carla serves as the Cancer Support Program & Retreat Coordinator at Smith Center. During her time at the center, Carla has been inspired to further develop her commitment to the arts and their invaluable role in healing and community. She is excited to share her favorite pastime, reading, in this group and hopes to hear all about your favorite things to read!

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

About Erin Price, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

This program is being offered virtually via Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Chef Kara Garrett

Join Chef Kara for a fun evening of virtual cooking where she will demonstrate and guide you through different techniques of using store-bought wonton wrappers. Wonton wrappers are a versatile foundation that can provide endless opportunities for you to be creative with healthy recipes in the kitchen. We will first make a protein-packed, Chinese-style vegetable filling that will be used to make 3 types of wontons. We will also make a quick, healthy dessert that comes together in minutes.
Chef Kara will walk you through the basics of wrapping dumplings & wontons, and provide helpful tips during the cooking process. You will also learn how to make a quick cancer-fighting soup broth and a delicious dipping sauce. This is an interactive class and you are welcome to simply watch for new ideas, or to choose which of the items you would like to prepare along with Chef Kara. 

Note: If you plan to cook-along, please have all ingredients and supplies out and ready to use before joining the class. Contact Chef Kara prior to class for any questions regarding ingredient or equipment substitutions.


Menu Items:
  • Wonton Soup
  • Pan-Fried Potstickers
  • Crispy Wonton Cups
  • Baked Banana Fritters 

Note: We will make enough savory filling to make approximately 40 wontons. Due to class duration, Chef Kara will only demo 6 of each item. You can prepare the remaining dumplings after class to freeze or eat, freeze the extra filling for future dumpling making, or add rice to the filling for a heartier fried rice entree.


Ingredients:
  • Wonton wrappers (Demo will be with square wrappers as they are the most common at grocery stores. Round works too. Look for eggless if vegan. All local Whole Foods sell these vegan wrappers.)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • Walnuts (1/2 cup)
  • 4 Garlic cloves 
  • Ginger root (2-inch piece)
  • Bag of coleslaw or broccoli slaw mix (can sub cabbage or bok choy)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (5oz)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 banana
  • Vegetable broth (4 cups/1 box)
  • Neutral oil such as canola, safflower or avocado
  • Tamari, Coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Cooking spray (optional but helpful)
  • Chinese five spice powder (optional)
  • Toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • Lime (optional)
  • Sriracha or sambal paste (optional)
  • Yogurt (optional)
  • Honey or agave (optional)
  • Nut butter (optional)
  • Chocolate chips (optional)
Kitchen supplies
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Saute pan with tight-fitting lid
  • Small saucepan for soup with lid
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Clean kitchen towel or paper towels to press tofu
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cookie sheet
  • Muffin pan 
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Fork & spoon

The YACS Supper Club provides an opportunity for young adult cancer survivors to come together in a casual setting to share a delicious meal. Chef Kara cooks a healthy 3-course meal to share and leads the group in preparing one menu item together. Past items include chocolate truffles, steamed dumplings. Brazilian crepes, and 5-minute carrot cake. All meals are vegan and gluten-free. **Supper Club is currently only being offered virtually. Recipes and needed supplies are provided ahead of time. We prepare one dish and enjoy our meal together.


About Chef Kara Garret

Kara is a health-supportive chef based in Washington, DC. Following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, she embraced the challenge of finding a balance between her foodie lifestyle and eating well with cancer. She has adopted a flexible diet plan that focuses on plant-based, sustainable whole foods, but does not restrict indulgences of things she loves. She is passionate about working with others to encourage healthier food choices that energize the body and the soul.

Kara graduated in August 2017 from the Chef Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and spent one month as the sous chef at The Ananda Ashram Yoga Society of New York in Monroe, NY. She is currently enrolled in the Developing Healthy Communities: Nutrition, Behavior, and Physical Activity graduate program at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

This program is being offered virtually via Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

This program was born out of our SC Writes program offered to young adults living with cancer. The effect of writing and sharing our writing in a safe and sacred space with each other has been healing and inspiring. In SC Writing Space, each week, there will be a writing prompt, fifteen-minutes of off-screen writing time, and the remainder of the hour will be left for reading and sharing. This healing program offers a place for supporting one another and we stay clear of writing critique. Come and experience writing and sharing together.
All ages, people living with cancer and non-cancer program participants are welcome. This program will be limited to 6 participants. Register for one, or as many sessions as you would like. Please let us know if you are unable to attend, as space is limited.

SC Writing Space will be offered bi-monthly on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30pm. 

Each session is limited to 6 participants, so register early!

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 2 & 16
  • April 20 & 27
  • May 4 & 11

About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carla Stillwagon, Kiersten Gallagher & Erin Price

Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad

Welcome to “Read with Smith Center,” a community of book lovers diving in to current and relevant book material.

Our upcoming book selection is Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad. 

Read the description from Amazon Smile:

In the summer after graduating from college, Suleika Jaouad was preparing, as they say in commencement speeches, to enter “the real world.” She had fallen in love and moved to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a war correspondent. The real world she found, however, would take her into a very different kind of conflict zone.
It started with an itch—first on her feet, then up her legs, like a thousand invisible mosquito bites. Next came the exhaustion, and the six-hour naps that only deepened her fatigue. Then a trip to the doctor and, a few weeks shy of her twenty-third birthday, a diagnosis: leukemia, with a 35 percent chance of survival. Just like that, the life she had imagined for herself had gone up in flames. By the time Jaouad flew home to New York, she had lost her job, her apartment, and her independence. She would spend much of the next four years in a hospital bed, fighting for her life and chronicling the saga in a column for The New York Times.
When Jaouad finally walked out of the cancer ward—after countless rounds of chemo, a clinical trial, and a bone marrow transplant—she was, according to the doctors, cured. But as she would soon learn, a cure is not where the work of healing ends; it’s where it begins. She had spent the past 1,500 days in desperate pursuit of one goal—to survive. And now that she’d done so, she realized that she had no idea how to live.
How would she reenter the world and live again? How could she reclaim what had been lost? Jaouad embarked—with her new best friend, Oscar, a scruffy terrier mutt—on a 100-day, 15,000-mile road trip across the country. She set out to meet some of the strangers who had written to her during her years in the hospital: a teenage girl in Florida also recovering from cancer; a teacher in California grieving the death of her son; a death-row inmate in Texas who’d spent his own years confined to a room. What she learned on this trip is that the divide between sick and well is porous, that the vast majority of us will travel back and forth between these realms throughout our lives. Between Two Kingdoms is a profound chronicle of survivorship and a fierce, tender, and inspiring exploration of what it means to begin again.

We will begin the book discussion on Tuesday, March 16th and continue through April (6th & 20th). Please register to be notified of the pages to prepare for each session. We also encourage you to join if only for the vibrant discussion!


Read with Smith Center will meet Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • March 2 & 16
  • April 6 & 20
  • May 4 & 18
  • June 8 & 22

Click here to choose Smith Center for Healing and the Arts as your charity of choice when you shop on Amazon Smile!


About Carla Stillwagon

Carla serves as the Cancer Support Program & Retreat Coordinator at Smith Center. During her time at the center, Carla has been inspired to further develop her commitment to the arts and their invaluable role in healing and community. She is excited to share her favorite pastime, reading, in this group and hopes to hear all about your favorite things to read!

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

About Erin Price, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.