Dr. Susan Krajewski attended the University of Guelph where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She subsequently worked for a pharmaceutical company and travelled throughout Southeast Asia before enrolling in medical school. Upon completing an M.D. at the University of Toronto, she attended residency in General Surgery at the University of British Columbia. During residency she completed a Masters in Public Health at Harvard University, with a focus on surgical disparities and access to surgical care. After residency, she completed a traineeship in breast cancer surgery in Vancouver and for the last 5 years has been working as a rural General Surgeon. In 2013, she designed and implemented a rapid diagnostic protocol to improve wait times for breast cancer diagnosis and management. Her interests in the mission and vision of the iRise Above foundation are both personal and professional. Since she started working as a surgeon, she has seen more and more young women with breast cancer, many of whom experience difficulty in finding their "new normal" following treatment. It has been her experience that many of these women struggle to find adequate resources and supports during their breast cancer journey. Susan believes that treating breast cancer involves treating both mind and body and as such, has a keen interest in supporting the mission of the Foundation.
DR. DON S. DIZON, MD FACP, FASCO
Advisory Committee, Sexual Health
Don S. Dizon is a medical oncologist and is currently the Director of Women’s Cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute, Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island. He is also the founder of the Oncology Sexual Health First Responder’s Clinic at Lifespan Cancer Institute. In addition to his roles as a clinician and a researcher, he writes about the cancer experience from his viewpoint as a medical professional, husband, father, and friend for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Connection blog and for the journal The Oncologist. His writing reflects the human and often times emotional experience of doctoring, sometimes in the most extreme circumstances.
Acupuncturist Sarah O’Leary, L.Ac. is the owner-operator of Mend Acupuncture, an acupuncture focused group in Maryland. Sarah began her career in Social Work. Her first exposure to acupuncture was while working in the Baltimore City prison. Acupuncture was provided daily for inmates in recovery, and often used for anxiety as well as pain management. She was struck by the power of this simple medicine. She pursued her Masters of Acupuncture and subsequently started her private practice in 2006. Sarah was born into a healthcare family; her grandparents and parents committed their professions to providing quality healthcare. The landscape of healthcare has changed dramatically in these 3 generations. Sarah’s personal mission is to bring acupuncture’s methods (patient centered, effective, non-pharmacological care for many physical and mental/emotion conditions) into the current healthcare fold.
Advisory Committee, Trauma Healing
Jane Clapp is a feminist embodied resilience expert. She believes that we are all healing from some past hurt or loss. That doesn’t mean we're broken. In fact, our past struggles, traumas or health issues don’t have to be a life sentence. Jane believes we have the power to free ourselves from the shackles that limit our joy and fulfillment. While it is widely accepted that mindfulness is necessary to shape the body, she asserts that the body is one of the most powerful alchemaic tools for shaping the mind. As a practitioner in the health industry for two decades, Jane’s approach is to combine holistic personal training with tension and trauma healing to help her clients gain strength, mobility, and energy. As the founder of Urbanfitt, Jane has helped more than 1000 clients improve emotional and nervous system regulation, positively shift neuroplasticity and release somatized stress and trauma. Through her revolutionary coaching sessions and workshops, Jane will ensure that you not only feel better, but truly realize your full potential for contentment and happiness. She is an experienced and illuminating speaker, widely consulted media expert and internationally recognized author. Jane is thrilled to support the mission of the iRise Above Foundation, offering scholarships to women entering in the program so they can uncover their warrior and offer purpose as an antidepressant during and post cancer treatments.
Advisory Committee, Body Movement Expert
MOVEMENT creates CHANGE - BREATH creates CONNECTION - BALANCE creates HEALTH - GRATITUDE creates JOY. Julia Przybilka is passionate about sharing her experiences. This includes not only teaching and educating but also her approach to life - she calls herself a radical life lover - her goal is to inspire everybody she gets in touch with to live authentically and healthy. Her tool to achieve this is to create holistic movement experiences and encourage to be kind to oneself while practicing. Nothing better than JOYful exercising because it will become part of your life and wellbeing, something you don't want to miss anymore in your daily life – it is as simple as this: If it MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD you will KEEP ON DOING IT! Julia is a GLOBAL MASTER TRAINER FOR BODYART-TRAINING, INTERNATIONAL PRESENTER, MANAGING MEMBER BAA, BODYART AMERICAS AND BAM, BODYART MEDIA, FOUNDER OF PURA VIDA WELLNESS RETREATS, and GROOVE FACILITATOR!
DR. KATE BEEBE DEVARNEY, MD
Advisory Committee, Qigong Movement
Dr. DeVarney is a neuroscientist, and certified medical qigong teacher and wellness coach. She is also the Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Titan Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco, California. Before joining Titan, she was a Senior Director with Corcept Therapeutics in Menlo Park, CA. Prior to joining Corcept, Dr. DeVarney was the Senior Medical Director for Neurosciences within World Wide Human Health at Merck. Dr. DeVarney also worked at SmithKline Beecham and GlaxoSmithKline, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, primarily within the Neurosciences research and development and medical affairs organizations. Before beginning her career in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. DeVarney was a practicing neuropsychologist at The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, treating patients of all ages with various neurological and neuropsychiatric illnesses. Throughout her academic and industry careers, Dr. DeVarney's research has focused primarily on addiction, neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease, mood and anxiety disorders, breast cancer, metabolic disorders and obesity. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals such as The American Journal of Psychiatry, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Addiction. She has presented her research extensively at the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the International Society of Addiction Medicine. Dr. DeVarney holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Neuropsychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and received her clinical training at Georgetown University Medical School, Yale University Medical School, and Graduate Hospital, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, Dr. DeVarney was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer, and underwent standard Western treatments. Soon after she started radiation, a close friend introduced her to qigong, and she quickly discovered the incredible power of this healing exercise. Her subsequent motivation to become a certified medical qigong teacher in 2014, with Master Lee Holden, was born out of a desire to share this unique blend of Western and Eastern exercise with people suffering from serious illness. She is the Founder and CEO of Mind Body Design, and currently teaches qigong and wellness programs to groups and individual clients.
The experience of linking breath and movement in a conscious and fluid manner inspires Simone Nitzan in her practice and teaching. She believes practicing Yoga leads us to a meditative state, expanding our awareness of ourselves and creating a deeper connection within and without. Simone’s classes are a balance of breath awareness, alignment and light heartedness; bringing the qualities of both effort and ease into practice. Simone began teaching Yoga ten years ago while completing her Master’s degree in exercise physiology at the University of British Columbia. During this time Simone also worked on a research study examining the effects of exercise on the quality of life of women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Simone is passionate about supporting people through challenging life situations whether they occur in sickness or health. Simone brings her expertise in anatomy and physiology into the Yoga room. This expertise is evident in her teaching and she combines this with her passion for Yogic philosophy. She creates a practice that can transform our lives, reconnect us to our highest truth and most heartfelt desires.
Advisory Committee, Body Movement, Reiki, Meditation
Yoga has been Ana Alvarenga’s direct path to self-awareness and transformation from which she is developing her vital purpose in life at the same time that she connects and helps people in their search of that 'something else' they feel uncertain about. Ana started her conscious path to enlightenment in 2009 with Reiki and Yoga after studying Graphic Design, Photography, and Culinary Arts. In 2014 she incorporated Bach's Flowers Therapy, Massage and Acupressure (for a bioenergetic balance treatment) into her practice. The same year, Ana explored the pathway toward conscious eating by assisting detox and alkalization workshops. In 2015, Ana traveled to India to receive Yoga Teacher Certification for Multi-Style Yoga (Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa). With a desire to refine her offerings, in 2017 Ana then traveled to San Jose, Costa Rica to deepen her specialty practice of Hatha yoga. In 2019 she went to Guatemala to learn Vipassana meditation, and spent 10 days of silence while learning the technique. Ana offers a conscious and serene space to practice. Departing from her Hatha yoga style foundations to a self-aware journey into the depths of the physical, mental and emotional states. Going from the breath to the visualization and affirmation of the chakras. Ana brings awareness to create Presence, to live the eternal present moment, to connect with the body and learn to listen to it. To focus on the power of intention and learn to receive from it. She also emphasizes the importance of calming the 3 bodies - the physical, the mental and the emotional. Ana encourages her students to bring consciousness over the breathing and to connect with the body through meditation, chakra awareness and/or asanas.
Advisory Committee, Body Movement, Reiki, Massage Therapist
Angela Howell is on a mission to help make the world a better place for ALL of us! She is committed to living her “Yoga” in an authentic, integral way. Angela believes there are solutions to create more peace, harmony, connection, and love in the world. It starts with US individually choosing to have a deeper awareness, mindfulness and consciousness around HOW we are living. And HOW we are interacting with SELF, Others and Mother Earth. Angela teaches Yoga, Co-create Retreats and offers Reiki and Ayurvedic massages as a way to hold true to her life mission. To Angela, Yoga is a way of experiencing life, being fully awake, aware, loving, authentic, truthful and present in all that she does. Angela believes in living your Sat Nam - truth being identity.
Advisory Committee, Women's Health Coach & Mindset Mentor
After completing her undergraduate degree at Elon University, Katie dedicated her early 20's to promoting health and well-being to underserved communities in Central America. She's a certified Yoga Teacher and SoulWorker through Passion Yoga School, and a RYT-200 though Yoga Alliance. In addition, she received her Holistic Health Coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and completed Gabrielle Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass L1. Today Through her company lokahmotive, Katie works as a Women's Health Coach and Mindset Mentor to promote lasting transformation—body, mind, and soul. She provides holistic health solutions to women motivated to transform their lives. Her coaching style is different from other Health Coaches in the industry; rather than focusing solely on the body, she promotes complete transform - physically, mentally, and spiritually. As a result, her clients experience a complete energetic shift to their overall wellness that is ever lasting.