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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • August 2 & 16
  • September 13 & 27

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • August 2 & 16
  • September 13 & 27

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • July 12 & 26
  • August 2 & 16

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • July 12 & 26
  • August 2 & 16

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • June 7 & 21

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • June 7 & 21

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

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


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

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 Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • May 3 & 17
  • June 7 & 21

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program series is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

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


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.

Registration for this program is currently full. Please email carla@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom.

with Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Sustainable Journaling

In the forward to Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss, author Christina Baldwin writes, “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away.”

In this three-part workshop series, we will explore our own “untold stories” – ones that have forever changed the storylines of our lives – by capturing one moment in time that can convey meaning about a larger experience, bring needed healing, and offer powerful insights about our shared humanity.

Using the micro-memoir, also called the flash memoir, as a vehicle for telling our untold stories, we will discuss techniques for distilling them to their essence (750 words or fewer) and for crafting them in ways that powerfully communicate what we intend.

Activities include:

  • learning about the essential elements of a micro-memoir
  • reading and discussing examples of published micro-memoirs
  • participating in writing activities
  • completing at-home assignments
  • talking about what it means to share our writing with a larger audience

By the end of the third session, you will have written a micro-memoir that tells the story you need to tell.

Reading your work aloud is voluntary. If you choose to do so, you will have an opportunity to read what you have written to the group, and you will have a chance to hear others read their “small stories” as well. After each reading, generous, positive feedback will be encouraged.

You do not have to consider yourself a writer to participate in this workshop. The only requirement is a willingness to tell your story as open-heartedly as you can and to compassionately support the efforts of others in the workshop who wish to do the same. The program is open to any adults who have been impacted by cancer as a patient or as a caregiver of any kind.


Writing a Micro-Memoir: The Stories that Don’t Go Away will be hosted in three parts. Participants are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working micro-memoir. Program limited to 8 participants.
Program dates:
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19

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


About Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW Candidate

Leslie Lass, PhD, MFA, MSW candidate, has taught writing for more than 20 years at universities and community colleges on the east and west coasts, including Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, and The Evergreen State College. Her doctoral work focused on writing creative nonfiction and on Latin American testimonial literature. She is an author of a novel, a memoir, short stories, and poetry, and for the past nine years she has maintained a blog, where she writes “small stories” she hopes will point towards more universal themes that will resonate with her readers.