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Writer, iRise Above Foundation's - The Booby Blog

Kristi Mangan is an Assistant Professor English at Northern Virginia Community College where she teaches college composition. Kristi holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, as well as a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in the teaching of writing and literature from George Mason University. Before becoming a teacher, Kristi worked as a print journalist for several newspapers and publications.

In 2012, at 37, Kristi was diagnosed with HER 2+ breast cancer and successfully underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. During treatment, Kristi cultivated a holistic approach to her health that incorporates physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. She is eager to share the inspiring stories of young women with breast cancer and the ways in which they thrive in the face of that life-altering diagnosis.

An American who grew up in Europe, Kristi now resides in North Bethesda, Maryland, and enjoys spending her time with her two sons. She is an avid runner, reader, and writer.

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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. 



Advisory Committee, General Surgeon

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.

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Advisory Committee, Physiotherapist and Author - How to Starve Cancer

Jane McLelland is a trained physiotherapist, and a four-time cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer 20 years ago and she beamed her cancer with her wisdom and science. She has mapped the landscape of cancer metabolism in a new way that everyone can understand. Jane discovered a unique approach that combines diet, exercise, nutritional supplements and off label old low-toxicity drugs, that when taken together, as a Metabolic Cocktail, act synergistically to kill even the toughest cancer. 


Jane is regarded as “A modern-day Cancer Sherlock Holmes”. Her most famous contribution is the McLelland Metro Map™ of cancer metabolism. She has painted the complicated cancer metabolism pathways with simplicity and clarity.Jane has helped countless patients over the years; this was recognized in 2019 when she was awarded Amazing Women Global Lifetime Achievement Award for her work and her book How to Starve Cancer has become an international bestseller with translation rights sold to fifteen countries. Her book has won the NYC Big Book Award and the Janey Loves Gold Award for outstanding book in the health arena. With her approach being adopted by doctors and researchers all over the world, Jane has caused a global revolution, with tens of thousands of grateful patients. 

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Advisory Committee, Nutrition

Rebecca Katz is a nutrition expert and has spent more than a decade motivating people to eat well. She is dedicated to educating individuals and communities about the power of food as medicine and nourishment, by creating meals that enhance one’s health and well-being. Rebecca completed formal culinary training at the Natural Gourmet Institute. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education from Hawthorn University, and has published a series of science-based cookbooks (Cancer Fighting Kitchen, Clean Soups, Healthy Mind Cookbook, The Longevity Kitchen, and One Bite at a Time). Rebecca is the Founder and Executive Director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, CA. Rebecca offers an excellent online cooking course called: Cancer Fighting Kitchen Course: Surviving and Thriving During Treatment and Beyond

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Advisory Committee, Fitness & Nutrition; iRise & Shine Wellness Training Program

Dr. Suzanne Rutherford is a practicing physician in family, hospital and palliative medicine. She has a special interest in lifestyle and weight loss coaching that started during her undergraduate years when she majored in human biology and nutritional sciences. 


After two pregnancies and a busy post-graduate residency program, she found herself 30lbs overweight and feeling tired and discouraged. She knew that by finding time to prioritize her own physical and mental health, she would become a more fulfilled mother, wife, and physician, and that is where her fitness and nutrition journey began. 


Jake Wright has a BSc in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, along with advanced certifications in nutrition, joint mobility, and strength and conditioning that compliments his 15-years of experience in personal, on-line, and group fitness training. 


More recently, Suzanne and Jake have developed a flexible online training community approach to health and wellness that helps busy professionals break out of their fitness rut and excel in all areas of life. Together they lead the fitness and nutrition component of the iRise & Shine Wellness Training Program.

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Advisory Committee, Physiotherapist, Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist

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, Yoga Teacher, LYT, RYT, y4c

Jessica is a woman on a mission. Having had cancer twice, she’s seen firsthand the power that yoga has to transform our bodies, our minds, our ability to heal, and the limitless potential we have to thrive. She’s bringing LYTTM Yoga, an empowering functional movement practice, to young women after breast cancer fellow warriors of all walks of life, driven to feel their best and move with intention and tenacity, every single day. When Jessica’s not on her mat, she’s outdoors at every available moment, on a run, on her bike, or on a hike with her two boys and her pup. She lives with the awareness of how precious this life is and how fortunate we are all to be here. That spirit fuels her each day (along with green tea and 80s rap) and she’s passionate about sharing that fire with everyone she meets!

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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. 

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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.

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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!



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.   



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. 



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, Acupuncture

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.