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 Kenneth Johnson

A Healing Circle: Gay Men with Prostate Cancer

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.


The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET.


About Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson, of Owings Mills, MD, is a founding member and facilitator of the Healing Circle Supporting Gay Men with Prostate Cancer hosted at the Smith Center since October 2018. Kenneth’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016 at the age of 50 began, not with any symptoms of a problem, but due to a vigilant doctor who was aware of black men’s higher cancer risk and encouraged earlier screening. Blood tests showed a rising PSA that triggered the need for a biopsy. Kenneth underwent surgery and radiation later in 2016. Before volunteering with the support group, Kenneth volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and community non-profits in Atlanta, GA.

Professionally, Kenneth retired in 2021 after 34 years of federal service as an information technology analyst. Now, he is often on the highways with his octogenarian parents visiting family and friends around the country. You can catch up with Kenneth at the local gym or track working up a good sweat to offset his time in the kitchen cooking for and eating with his parents. At other times, you will find him enjoying his monthly book club selection, stressing over a Ravens game (or Orioles or Alabama football), chuckling at a corny Hallmark movie, or tackling (and possibly regretting) an HGTV-inspired home project.

Despite the cloud of prostate cancer, Kenneth sees the silver lining as the community of wonderful souls that have befriended him through the Smith Center and the healing circle for gay men with prostate cancer.

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 Kenneth Johnson

A Healing Circle: Gay Men with Prostate Cancer

We are a group of gay men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or who are recovering from treatment that offer support to each other. In a peer-led community, we share our experiences and understanding to help one another best deal with our own personal situations.


The Healing Circle for Gay Men with Prostate Cancer meets Monthly on the 4th Thursday from 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET.


About Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson

Kenneth Johnson, of Owings Mills, MD, is a founding member and facilitator of the Healing Circle Supporting Gay Men with Prostate Cancer hosted at the Smith Center since October 2018. Kenneth’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2016 at the age of 50 began, not with any symptoms of a problem, but due to a vigilant doctor who was aware of black men’s higher cancer risk and encouraged earlier screening. Blood tests showed a rising PSA that triggered the need for a biopsy. Kenneth underwent surgery and radiation later in 2016. Before volunteering with the support group, Kenneth volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and community non-profits in Atlanta, GA.

Professionally, Kenneth retired in 2021 after 34 years of federal service as an information technology analyst. Now, he is often on the highways with his octogenarian parents visiting family and friends around the country. You can catch up with Kenneth at the local gym or track working up a good sweat to offset his time in the kitchen cooking for and eating with his parents. At other times, you will find him enjoying his monthly book club selection, stressing over a Ravens game (or Orioles or Alabama football), chuckling at a corny Hallmark movie, or tackling (and possibly regretting) an HGTV-inspired home project.

Despite the cloud of prostate cancer, Kenneth sees the silver lining as the community of wonderful souls that have befriended him through the Smith Center and the healing circle for gay men with prostate cancer.

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 Elizabeth Belanger

In Partnership with GW Cancer Center & Cancer Support Community

This monthly support group is designed for adults diagnosed with cancer who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. The group will be facilitated by culturally competent social workers, who will provide a safe space to connect with others and explore your own unique experience with cancer.


The LGBTQ+ Cancer Support Group meets monthly on the 4th Wednesday from 6:00-7:00pm ET.


About Elizabeth Belanger

Elizabeth Belanger is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) in Washington DC. Elizabeth received her BA in Psychology with minors in Women’s Studies and Sociology from Elon University and a Master’s in Social Work from Simmons University. Elizabeth strives to provide therapy that is client lead and trauma-informed. She is continuously seeking education on the latest techniques in culturally humble and trauma-informed therapy practices. Elizabeth currently works here in DC at Capitol Hill Consortium for Counseling and Consultation (CCCC) with young adults and adults, with issues pertaining to anxiety, depression, chronic illness, trauma, LGBTQ, and women’s issues.

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 Sara Richman, LICSW, Heather Roche, RN BSN, and Jessica Gelfarb, MSW, LICSW

 

This monthly support group is designed for adult patients/survivors diagnosed with Leukemia or Lymphoma. The group will incorporate education lectures coupled with emotional support.

This group is open to people of all ages (18+) who are at any stage of the disease process.

It is hosted by and offered in partnership with the GW Cancer Center.


The Leukemia and Lymphoma Support Group meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday from 11:00am-12:00pm ET.


About Sara Richman, LICSW

Sara Richman, LICSW is a licensed and certified oncology clinical social worker (OSW-C). She received her masters in social work (MSW) at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Prior to working at GW, Sara was an oncology clinical social worker at MedStar Washington Hospital Center where she worked with all types of blood cancers and disorders. She is happy to be a co-facilitator of this group.

About Heather Roche, RN BSN

Heather Roche, RN BSN is an oncology nurse navigator at the GW Cancer Center. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island. Prior to working at GW, Heather was an oncology nurse coordinator at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where she worked with malignant hematology patients. She is happy to be a co-facilitator of this group.

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 Sara Richman, LICSW and Jessica Gelfarb, MSW, LICSW

This monthly support group is designed for adult patients/survivors diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and their caregivers. 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 Multiple Myeloma Cancer Support Group


The Multiple Myeloma Cancer Support Group meets Monthly on the 3rd Tuesday from 12:30-1:30pm ET.


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.  

About Sara Richman, LICSW

Sara Richman, LICSW is a licensed and certified oncology clinical social worker (OSW-C). She received her masters in social work (MSW) at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Prior to working at GW, Sara was an oncology clinical social worker at MedStar Washington Hospital Center where she worked with all types of blood cancers and disorders. She is happy to be a co-facilitator of this group.

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 Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly cancer 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.


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.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren Broschak

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 full-time in oncology social work for over six 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 passionate about supporting this community, and specializes in sexual wellness after cancer and working with Adolescents and Young Adults.

This meeting will be in-person. In order to participate, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

with Becky Bindrim & Samara Spence

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 programs@smithcenter.org for an informal intake before coming to your first meeting.

The group meetings alternate between the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 8-9pm ET and the 3rd Saturday of the month from 10-11am ET. The group alternates between meeting in-person and online. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • IN-PERSON – Saturday, March 16 (10-11am ET)
  • ON ZOOM – Wednesday, April 17 (8-9pm ET)
  • IN-PERSON – Saturday, May 18 (10-11am ET)
  • ON ZOOM – Wednesday, June 19 (8-9pm ET)

About Becky Bindrim

My name is Becky. I am a mother (of 2), wife, daughter, sister (to 3), friend, and thriver. I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) at the age of 34 while nursing my then 14-month-old daughter. In those first few weeks I felt every single emotion there was to feel… scared, confused, grateful for another day. My oncologist at the time had referred me to the Young Adults with MBC support group at the Smith Center and it brought comfort. My concerns were validated, my anxiety eased, I felt “seen” by everyone who is walking this path with me. I was no longer alone, I was hopeful.

I am excited to co-facilitate this group and help bring comfort and support to every young adult living with this disease. This population faces unique challenges; some of us have young children, others never got the opportunity to have kids, some are trying to manage side effects while working full-time, others have quit their job and pursued their true passion. We have created a beautiful community and welcome those recently diagnosed and those who have been thriving for years.

About Samara Spence

My name is Samara. I live in Washington, DC, with my husband and 2 cats. I moved to DC in 2014 to work in the government as an attorney, and I’m still a lawyer in my professional life. I was diagnosed with MBC at age 40 after finding a lump in my own breast. Since then, my world has been turned upside down. I’ve had to learn new skills, new boundaries, and an entirely new language — I joke that I’m working on the unofficial graduate degree I never wanted in breast cancer oncology. The Young Adults with MBC group has been a silver lining for me. These amazing young people are knowledgeable, helpful, honest, and, above all, give me hope. I’m honored to co-facilitate this group with Becky.

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 Lisa Hahn

Healing Circle for Metastatic Breast Cancer Thrivers 45+

This healing circle is for people who are 45 and older who are living and thriving with Metastatic Breast Cancer. This peer-led circle will provide a safe place to connect, support and share with one another.


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.

This Healing Circle will meet Monthly on the 2nd Wednesday from 5:15-6:45pm ET.


About Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn was diagnosed with MBC de novo in the Fall of 2019. In addition to working full-time and attending doctor appointments, she is always looking for a new exercise class and tries to maintain a consistent yoga and pilates practice. Her background in the arts as a former ballet dancer and arts council program officer have given her a strong appreciation for the arts and she is a regular attendee at the Smith Center. She lives in Alexandria with her husband, two teenage boys and two cats and you can follow her on Instagram @dancingwithmbc

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 Gina Petonito

For Indeed, with hardship comes ease
Indeed, with hardship comes ease.
Al-Inshirah 94:5-6

Cancer! The word evokes fear and dread. And then the unthinkable happens. You get your diagnosis, and just like that, your life turns upside down. You enter a realm of tests, procedures, infusions, radiation, and operations. You are surrounded by people: caregivers, healing professionals, family, and friends. Yet, you feel all alone. Sisters, you can find companionship on this journey. In a healing circle. The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts has graciously agreed to sponsor a healing circle just for us: Muslim Sisters. The Circle will provide a safe and accepting space, where we can share our stories and heal together. Yes, we are patient. But healing circles allow us to persevere. Let’s let our healing circle provide us with the ease Allah (SWT) promises and that we so richly
deserve.

This circle will meet on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 9:00-10:30am EST. Meetings will continue for 12 weeks.


About Gina Petonito, PhD

Gina Petonito is a retired university professor, current business and life coach, and a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Stage IIa, ER/PR+ invasive ductal carcinoma in November 2021, upgraded to Level IIIa after surgery. She underwent treatment throughout 2022 and is currently cancer free. Determined to have a productive life despite the arduous procedures, Gina completed an 83,000-word historical fiction manuscript, and moved forward with her
businesses Writing Your Way and Academic Womxn Reclaim Your Power.

A convert to Islam since 1984, Gina created a gratitude series for Muslim women, titled 99 Days of Gratitude: A Practice for Sisters. This practice, uploaded to YouTube focuses upon one of the Beautiful Names of God each day, and suggests related supplications, gratitude items, and affirmations. The practice allowed her to place cancer into its proper perspective as one negative in a life of abundant blessings, ma sha Allah. Nevertheless, cancer often plunges a person into loneliness, which support can alleviate. I firmly believe that together we sisters can strengthen each other in our deen and in our worldly life. Together, we can come to terms with cancer, be patient AND persevere.

Gina lives in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and spends her free time at home with her beloved family. She enjoys studying history, reading, writing, and connecting with women all over the globe.

This program is hosted virtually via Zoom. No prior registration required.

with Susan Salek

Come together as an LGBTQIA+ community for a weekly morning meditation sit. 

We will settle in for a few minutes, then meditation (guided and silence) for 20 minutes and end with around the virtual circle with a few words of gratitude.


Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 884 6869 2145
Passcode: 917135

Note: Because this is an online sit, participants are encouraged to find space of relative quiet, limiting the amount of interaction with others in the environment as much as possible. Participants may join by internet or via phone.