This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kimberly Parekh and group

Healing Circle for Young Adults with Metastatic Breast Cancer

We are a demand-driven and patient-led in-person and online community support group for young women and men (diagnosed between the age of 18 – 45ish) with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in the DC, MD, and VA area. We have created this group as a means of providing both a safe community support space for people with MBC, as well as peer-led and expert-led information on living with breast cancer. This group is new and independent of any established breast cancer organization, though we are are in complete gratitude to the Smith Center for hosting us.


We facilitate our group in a democratic and participatory manner; in essence, our group is your group! Interested new members, kindly contact Kimberly Parekh at kimberlyparekh@yahoo.com for an informal intake before coming to your first meeting.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 14, 12 – 1 PM
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Kimberly Parekh

Kimberly Parekh

Kimberly Parekh was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 in February 2015 and has since then been an active cancer advocate. Her breast cancer interest lies in evidence-based holistic and complementary approaches for treatment and wellbeing. In that regard, Kimberly is the founder of a community support group for young persons with metastatic breast cancer in the DC region hosted by the Smith Center. She has supported Komen Foundation in organizing their annual DC regional metastatic breast cancer conference, moderating the ‘Complementary Approaches to Treatment and Wellbeing’ panel in 2020, and speaking about her experience on a patient panel in 2019. She wrote a chapter on her experiences with holistic approaches in Confessions of a Radiation Oncologist (2017). In addition, she focuses on research while serving as a panel reviewer for the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program and as a former member of the Georgetown Breast Cancer Research Advocates. Finally, Kimberly recently co-authored an essay with her best friend on experiences with breast cancer in Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted (forthcoming, 2021).
Kimberly works as a Senior Education Advisor for UNICEF and is based out of Washington, DC. She continues to enjoy traveling internationally both for work and pleasure and spends much of her time in various holistic practices such as yoga and a plant-based diet. She has an ED.S. in Education Policy & Leadership, M.A. in International Education, and a B.A. in Foreign Affairs.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio, this program begins with a series of partnered exercises. In our own words, we will begin to tell chapters of our own stories.

 

With our stories as a springboard, we will write within a variety of genres. We’ll explore a new genre each week, discovering what different writing forms have to say to us—and we to them. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched!

 

Possible genres include poetry, monologue, fairytale, and film noir.  Many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice.” Conversely, Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the opportunity to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-12:00pm ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 14

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007).

Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Rachel Ress, LICSW

Survivorship Support Group

This group is designed for cancer survivors who have completed their primary cancer treatment(s) and are now either post-treatment or on maintenance medication (such as hormonal therapy). Cancer can be emotionally and physically draining — many times we aren’t able to fully process the experience until after treatment is over and we are trying to get back to our “normal” lives. The struggle and expectation to find “normal” again can also be an overwhelming process. This group is a space where you can talk openly about these issues and process the trauma of cancer with other survivors.

The Survivorship Support Group will meet Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday from 6:30-8:00pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 13
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Rachel Ress, LICSW

Rachel Ress

Rachel is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker serving as Cancer Support Community Washington DC’s (CSC DC) Community Navigator. Prior to working at CSC DC, Rachel was an oncology social worker with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital for three years. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice where she interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Simone Banks Mackey (They/Them/Theirs)

 

Using modern and ancient techniques of developing symbols allows your imagination to wonder and form a personal affirmation sigil. A Sigil, in a greater sense, is a symbol that represents a meaning. Where they differ is how/why we create them. This process is not only therapeutic but extremely individualized. Each sigil contains specific messaging that is meant to empower you. Using meditation, herbal teas, movement, food, music, and/or scents, we intentionally create an environment that empowers us to imbue our intentions into our sigil fully. A process that can result in the simplest of shapes to the most elaborate of forms.

After your affirmation sigil is created it is charged with your energy and can be used whenever you need to affirm your power. Whether that be on your hallway mirror, daily bag, passenger dashboard, clothes/shoes, or even yourself its intention will hold.

December theme: Faith-based self-love

 

Suggested Materials: 

  • Writing utensils (pens, markers, paint, etc.)
  • Canvas (paper, book, hat, guitar, etc.)
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Set your “empowerment mood” (clothing, food, scents, lighting, etc.)

Suggested Donation: $10


About Simone Banks Mackey

Since childhood, Simone Banks Mackey (They/Them/Theirs) has always been an eccentric being that had an insatiable passion for life and helping others. After attending undergraduate school to study multiple Studio Arts disciplines and nonprofit management they decided to continue community-centered work. Teaching preschool offered Simone the opportunity to creatively expose children to multiple forms of art. However, they realized the magnitude of how structural stability within the home affects both parents’ mental/emotional/physical wellbeing and the children’s cognitive development. Simone then decided to work with grassroots organization that provided families with tools to be self-sufficient. It was during this time Eccentric Whims was born. While creating and hosting programming to artistically teach parents and children, Simone realized how they could combine their passion for art with community uplifting. Eccentric Whims catapults love and healing into the world by using a multitude of traditional and nontraditional art forms to foster creative thinking and promote healing/wellness while building community. Through carefully crafted community events surrounding any range and of non/traditional art forms such as mixed media collages, decor/crafts, visual media, and movement Simone creates safe spaces for people to express themselves and/or learn. Art is universal and through Art, we can communicate, commune, and create a greater society.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RMT, MS

Gentle PM Yoga

Enjoy a greater sense of well-being and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit.

Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

And, check out Yael’s contribution to CONNECT, Smith Center’s community-minded newsletter, called “Nurturing Resilience” on our YouTube channel!


Yael’s Gentle Yoga Class Meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00 – 7:15pm ET.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Yael Flusberg

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center
Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info: www.yaelflusberg.com

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jessica Gelfarb, MSW, LICSW, GW Cancer Center 

This monthly support group is designed for adult patients/survivors diagnosed with Prostate cancer. The group will incorporate education lectures coupled with emotional support and is hosted by and offered in partnership with the GW Cancer Center.

GW Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Support Group


The Prostate Cancer Support Group meets Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday from 12:30-1:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 13
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Jessica Gelfarb, MSW, LICSW

Jessica Gelfarb

Jessica is a licensed clinical social worker who has experience working with patients and families facing a range of medical diagnoses in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from University of Michigan and her masters degree in social work from University of Maryland with a focus on clinical and medical social work. Jessica recently joined the team at the George Washington University  cancer center as an oncology social worker. Prior to her role at GW Jessica worked extensively with organ transplant patients at Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute and co-led the institute’s transplant support group. She has also spent time working on cardiology and intensive care units throughout her career.  Jessica initially became interested in pursuing oncology social work after attending the Association of Oncology Social Work’s annual conference a number of years ago as well as observing first- hand the widespread impact that cancer has on so many individuals and families.   She is passionate about partnering with patients in order to provide psychosocial and emotional support as they navigate their diagnosis and treatment.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Beth Lawrence, RYT 500

Chair Yoga

Our chair yoga practice will connect body and mind. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care.

All levels welcome.


Our Chair Yoga class meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Beth Lawrence
Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Niya Kight

Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs of mothers, with children of any age, who are living with cancer. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. This shared experience will often lead to profound learning and healing.

Some of our children are bound to need us during this program. Please don’t worry about disruptions to care for your child(ren).


What is a Healing Circle?

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  Healing Circles is a peer-led process by which people support each other through deep listening and shared learning. When working at its best, this collaborative conversation model leads to authentic and deep connectivity and can create wisdom and healing for participants.

The Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer meets Monthly on the 2nd Monday of each month from 11:00am-12:00pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 12
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Niya Kight

Niya Kight

Niya Kight was diagnosed with Stage II, ER/PR + Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in November 2019 on her 31st birthday, while 12 weeks pregnant. Once Niya reached the middle of her second trimester, she underwent a mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy before delivering her daughter in May. Niya is currently finishing the last four rounds of chemotherapy and next up on the road to recovery is radiation. When Niya embarked upon this journey, she chose to view it as her rebirth and shared that “she would rise healthier and stronger than ever after this spiritual transformation”. Niya has done just that as she focused inwardly to determine the changes she needed to make in her life, learned to accept help, and shared her vulnerability and experience with others. Niya is passionate about raising awareness about pregnancy and breast cancer because many people do not know that it is possible to have cancer while pregnant, let alone that it can actually be treated during pregnancy. Niya remembers the loneliness she felt while navigating breast cancer while pregnant and wants to help eliminate that additional stress for other women.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Terry Conroy, RYT500

Wake-Up Morning Stretch

This yoga class combines gentle yoga postures, including some extended holds, to awaken your mind, body and spirit, and prepare you for your day. Students will be asked to focus on how each posture feels in their body, bringing mindful awareness to their practice.

 

Much of the morning stretch practice will be done sitting or lying on a mat. Chair practice can be accommodated. All levels welcome.


Beginning in September, Wake-Up Morning Stretch will be offered on Mondays from 10:30-11:30am ET.

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/month

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.


About Terry Conroy, RYT500

Terry Conroy

Terry Conroy, RYT500, has been a yoga practitioner for over 15 years, and a yoga teacher for over 10 years. Terry’s teaching provides a combination of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga postures appropriate for any body type or physical condition. Terry believes that yoga is about what you can do, not what you can’t. Her goal is to help others feel grounded, strong, and confident. Her yoga specialties are chair, gentle mat, and yin. Her motto is, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” Terry is certified in Yoga4Cancer, Yoga4Trauma, and Yoga Nidra.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Denise Feldman

Stitching Together

Stitched Together

We’re all part of the same cloth…

Join us for a Stitching Circle! Denise Feldman, a local mixed-media artist and cancer thriver, hosts this monthly gathering in (virtual) community as we talk and stitch—a powerful meditative and healing practice. Gathering as many have done for centuries, Denise will share tips and ideas for using needle and thread to bring joy and creativity to our everyday lives. Use her ideas to jump start your own, or bring your favorite hand work projects and join us for community stitching time!

 

This community stitching circle is for you! For example, maybe you’ve been hand sewing for years; you might be interested in exploring the recent revival of the “slow-stitch” movement; maybe you are are a needle pointer with a project to finish. Or, you might simply enjoy the meditative nature of hand making with needle and thread.

 

You may consider bringing:

  • needles and thread,
  • an old pair of jeans or other clothing that was headed to charity,
  • left over fabric from another project,
  • or simply bring yourself for some (virtual) time in community.

Stitched Together will be offered Monthly on Saturdays 10:00 – 11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 10
  • 2023 sessions TBD

Suggested Donation: $10


About Denise Feldman

Denise Feldman is a local mixed media artist who discovered the power of creativity as a healing practice after her treatment for breast cancer in 2014. As a creative ‘dabbler’ who loves working with various materials and surfaces, Denise shares her mixed media processes and soulful perspective with the hope of inspiring others to tell their stories ‘on and off the page’ and clear space for life’s chapters yet to come.

“My philosophy is simply that telling our stories helps us heal by giving us the space to process our own experiences and connect with each other. Getting our stories out from our hearts and our heads helps make room for the next chapter to happen…the one just waiting there in the wings.” ~Denise