At the Texas Oncology Foundation, we know that living with a cancer diagnosis can be a tiresome and worrying experience. Without adequate resources and community support—especially when in-person interactions are limited—survivors and caregivers may find themselves carrying a bigger burden or experiencing emotional distress.
That’s why we created the Virtual Experience, a 3-week online program dedicated to relevant topics affecting cancer survivors and caregivers at any stage.
Participants are invited to explore interactive sessions, workshops and daytime or evening virtual support groups. All sessions will focus on preserving your physical and emotional wellbeing while you balance the demands of living with a cancer diagnosis.
With access to a virtual community and other life changing resources, survivors and caregivers can form connections in a safe space, learn ways to lead a full and satisfying life, all while avoiding in-person covid-19 risks. Participants will have access to:
All sessions will be hosted live on Zoom and will be recorded to access in case you miss it.
Register below to participate in this life impacting virtual experience.
Cancer survivor and award-winning women’s health advocate Tamika Felder is the Chief Visionary at Cervivor - a nonprofit dedicated to cervical cancer advocacy and support. Named a “Cancer Rebel” by Newsweek in a 2017 cover story, Tamika is a highly sought-after speaker on cervical cancer advocacy, cancer prevention, HPV education, and living life with purpose after cancer. She is the author of "Seriously, What Are You Waiting For? 13 Actions To Ignite Your Life & Achieve The Ultimate Comeback."
Virtual Experience alumnus McKinney B. shared how this community gave him the answers he was searching for.
Judith M. shared why she has signed up for the Virtual Experience numerous times.
Lakshmi Balasubramanian, MD
Louis Lux, MD, FAAHPM
Stephanie Broadnax Broussard, MSSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C
David Zuniga, PhD, MDIV, MA
Dr. David Zuniga will provide an interdisciplinary presentation on cultivating psychological flexibility and wellness related to the unique perspective of surviving cancer. While not minimizing the challenges that having and surviving cancer presents, we will draw on practical, research-based strategies to cultivate wellness and psychological flourishing.
Cancer. The word alone comes with enormous pressure and weight. Being diagnosed with cancer is a whole other ballgame. It’s almost like being a dark upside down and not knowing how to find your way back up. How do you live a life with cancer? Because let’s face it, even if you survive cancer, it never leaves you. So how do you shift your life despite your circumstances? Global patient advocate Tamika Felder knows how to do just that and offers up insightful advice to live a life beyond cancer.
Cancer survivor and award-winning women’s health advocate Tamika Felder is the Chief Visionary at Cervivor – a nonprofit dedicated to cervical cancer advocacy and support. Named a “Cancer Rebel” by Newsweek in a 2017 cover story, Tamika is a highly sought-after speaker on cervical cancer advocacy, cancer prevention, HPV education, and living life with purpose after cancer. She is the author of “Seriously, What Are You Waiting For? 13 Actions To Ignite Your Life & Achieve The Ultimate Comeback.” Tamika currently serves on the steering committee of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable. She’s shared her story and experiences on Presidential Cancer Panels convened by the White House. An award-winning television producer, Tamika is currently filming a documentary about cervical cancer, the women living with it, and the vaccine to prevent it. Her story of patient-to-advocate / survivor-to-Cervivor inspires and mentors not only patients and medical communities, but anyone who has struggled with obstacles in their life. Learn more about Tamika’s work at Cervivor.org and TamikaFelder.com.
Stephanie Broadnax Broussard, MSSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C, is the Director of Palliative Care and Social Work at Texas Oncology and is a member of a Private Practice in Fort Worth, TX LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker (ACHP-SW). Stephanie is also a Certified Advanced Care Planning Facilitator and Trainer and enjoys educating the community and other clinicians on the importance of communication and having difficult conversations with patients. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of life, lead her to Palliative Care where she specializes in helping patients and their families cope with illnesses and life transitions.
Lakshmi Balasubramanian, MD, specializes in hematology and medical oncology at Texas Oncology—Cedar Park. She received her medical doctorate in Chennai, India. Dr. Balasubramanian completed a master’s degree in molecular genetics and microbiology, as well as an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL). She then completed a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Northwestern University (Chicago, IL). Dr. Balasubramanian has a special interest in women’s health, breast cancer, quality of life in survivorship, colorectal malignancies and novel therapeutic agents. She remains very involved in survivorship community outreach programs.
Louis Lux, MD, FAAHPM, specializes in palliative medicine at Texas Oncology—Austin Midtown. He is board certified in internal medicine, as well as hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Lux received his medical doctorate at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas, TX). He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida Associated Hospitals (Gainesville, FL).
Capital of Texas Team Survivor collaborated with Art Beat Dance Center to provide this Yoga workshop! This Gentle Hatha Yoga class will focus on reducing stress and a ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ full body stretch. It
would be helpful to have a yoga block or large book, a blanket or pillow, and a yoga strap or towel for class!
Brenna Kuhn is the Owner/Director of Art Beat Dance Center in Cedar Park, TX and the Board President of The Art Beat Foundation. She is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher with the National Yoga Alliance and the Director of the Austin Tap Ensemble. She’s an anatomy nerd and a student of tap dance history. She is passionate about spreading dance, music, rhythm, and community wherever she goes. She also loves her husband and her dog Lily.
Melissa Hudler, PhD, is a professor of writing and literature at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a member of the Editorial Board for Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine. She completed her PhD in Renaissance Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, during which time she developed an interest in the Medical and Health Humanities. To pursue this interest, she created and teaches literature courses focusing on illness and trauma narratives and the Ethics of Care. This research and teaching interest, combined with her personal interest in journaling and creative writing, inspired Melissa to start a local journaling group for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to promote healing and well-being through personal expression. Topics from the journaling group can be found on her website: www.nurtureyournarrative.com.
Navigating nutrition information can be challenging on its own, but trying to understand food labels and apply guidelines to the myriad of products available at the market adds another layer of difficulty. In this session, we’re going to play an interactive game to give you some tools to become a savvier shopper while getting the most out of your nutrition.
Board Certified Oncology Dietitian, Texas Oncology–Central Region
Nicole Hodac, MS, RDN, CSO, LD, is board certified oncology dietitian with Texas Oncology–Central Region. With over ten years of clinical experience, Nicole has been able to support patients with cancer in the maintenance and improvement of their overall well-being through nutrition education and counseling. She serves as a patient advocate on the medical oncology team developing healthful eating plans for the reduction of disease risk and progression to healthier lifestyles. She often works with the patient and caregiver to dispel common nutrition myths and find the right nutrition strategy for patients to maintain weight, recover strength, or mitigate treatment side effects. Nicole continues to be an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Oncology Nutrition dietetic practice group.
Nancy Samano, CQMI, is a Certified Medical Qi Gong Movement Instructor (CQMI). She discovered the practice of Qi Gong while undergoing treatments for Stage 3 breast cancer in 2016. Experiencing Qi Gong during her cancer journey proved so healing and transformative, that it awakened her to a new purpose. This new purpose resulted in Nancy undertaking a Medical Qi Gong program of study and dedicating herself to the practice of Qi Gong, as well as sharing this amazing ancient self-healing art form with others.
As a survivor, Nancy is keenly aware of the challenges associated with cancer and is sensitive to the emotional and physical demands of that journey. Nancy credits her Qi Gong practice with providing her with a perspective that allows her to be compassionate and empathetic to the healing journey of others.
Learn about integrative oncology and useful self-care tips, as well as local and online integrative oncology resources to support yourself or a loved one navigating treatment and beyond.
Oncology social worker Debbi Newton, LCSW, OSW-C outlined what an online support group is like and the impact it has on attendees.
Virtual Experience alumnus McKinney B. discussed the new opportunities and perspectives he gained from others.
Virtual Experience alumnus Judith M. shared what she enjoyed most about the support group and how it has continued on.
Debbi Newton, LCSW, OSW-C, CGCS, CCTP, is a licensed clinical social worker located at the Texas Oncology sites in Longview, Palestine, Mt. Pleasant, Paris and Greenville. She received a bachelor of social work degree from Eastern Washington University (Cheney, WA), a master of social work degree from Stephen F. Austin University (Nacogdoches, TX) and a master of public administration degree from Capella University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate of social work. Debbi has over 15 years of social work experience and is currently working on her clinical social work license. Debbi assists patients and caregivers through all phases of the cancer experience by providing psychosocial support and knowledge of community resources. She has facilitated numerous support groups in Denton, Flower Mound, Carrollton, and Lewisville on coping with a cancer diagnosis, caregiving and grief and loss.
Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center
Jackeline Castillo, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Mary Crowley Cancer Research. Jackie is bi-lingual and has over 15 years of experience in a variety of settings and with diverse clients including adults in various forms of crisis. In her current role she works with patients and their family to help address any barriers or concerns they may face during their cancer diagnosis. Jackie is passionate about educating and informing people about their rights that allows them to make the most informed decision.
Emily Pearcy, MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience providing psychosocial oncology and hematology care. Since 2003, Emily has provided supportive care services in both pediatric and adult outpatient oncology settings, as well as through a non-profit organization. She has facilitated numerous support groups and workshops on cancer coping, survivorship, caregiving, and grief & loss. Emily enjoys empowering patients and families by connecting them with the knowledge, resources, and support available to more confidently navigate cancer and blood disorders.
Rebecca Clinton, MSW, MBA, LCSW, OSW-C, received her Master’s in Social Work in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma. She furthered her education by completing her MBA in Healthcare Administration in 2018. She has extensive experience in counseling psychology, crisis counseling/intervention, grief counseling, family care/therapy, group therapy, and individual counseling. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Rebecca has several years providing education, identifying financial resources, and promoting advocacy for cancer patients, both inpatient and outpatient services.
*$15 for Survive & Thrive alumni!
*If $25 is cost prohibitive, please contact Kelly.Condon@usoncology.com for patient assistance