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Mandy Gonzalez and Krysta Rodriguez to Take Part in 13th Annual Shirley Kohn Spa Day

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Mandy Gonzalez and Krysta Rodriguez to Take Part in 13th Annual Shirley Kohn Spa Day

For women living with breast or ovarian cancer, the JCC's Shirley Kohn Spa Day--now in its 13th year--serves as a much-needed respite from the daily stress and worry that having a devastating illness can bring. This year, the program will be held virtually, building upon the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan's free cancer care programs that have moved online during the global pandemic. Free for women undergoing cancer treatment, the day will provide community, education, and wellness through its many sessions on Sunday, June 28, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is presented in partnership with Breastlink New York, SHARE, Sharsheret, The NIA Technique, and Movin' On Aerobics. Register online in advance.

"Isolation and loneliness for those who are being treated for breast and ovarian cancer can lead to increased risk for depression and anxiety. Even as our city and world is starting to open up, many cancer patients are not ready to venture out. We wanted to bring education and self-care practices to them so that they would feel the warmth of community in their own homes," said Caroline Kohles, senior director of health and wellness programming at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.

Throughout the day, there will be opportunities for connection with other participants, as well as breaks and rest times. Registrants are encouraged to participate at their own pace and are welcome to log in and out of the programs. A schedule of events and speaker bios are below, but please check the website for the most up-to-date information, including session descriptions. The desire to replicate the success of Spa Day throughout the year was the impetus for the many programs now offered at the JCC through its partnership with Breastlink, whose mission is to help women with expert breast cancer treatment, prevention, imaging, and diagnosis. JCC cancer care programs are free to those being tested or treated for breast cancer.

Schedule of Events

9 a.m.: Welcome | Caroline Kohles, JCC senior director of health + wellness programming
9 a.m.: Breathwork Meditation | Kathleen Booker, the Jedi of Calm; certified conscious connected breathwork coach
10 a.m.: Moving for Life Class | Dr. Martha Eddy, exercise physiologist + founder, Moving for Life | Evelyn Nunlee, Moving for Life instructor
11 a.m.: Self-Massage Experience | Ericka Clinton, LMT, dean of massage therapy, Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences
12 p.m.: Boost Your Health with a Whole Food Plant-Based Lunch | Chef AJ, host of Healthy Living with Chef AJ | Jamie Lopez, MS, RDN, dietitian nutritionist at God's Love We Deliver
1 p.m.: Keynote Address: The Courage Catalyst | Petra Kolber, cancer survivor, international fitness professional, and author of The Perfection Detox
2 p.m.: Jin Shin Jyutsu | Alexis Brink, president, Jin Shin Institute, author of The Art of Jin Shin
3 p.m.: Laughter Yoga | Claire Powell, laughter yoga specialist | Whitney Chapman, yoga specialist for individuals living with cancer
4 p.m.: Tea and Chi | Lawrence Biscontini, mindful movement specialist + international fitness presenter
5 p.m.: Zentangle | Kathy Shapiro, certified Zentangle instructor, founding member of The Soul Center
6 p.m.: Broadway's Best for Breast Cancer! | Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, Wicked, In the Heights) | Krysta Rodriguez (In the Heights, The Addams Family, First Date)

About the Speakers

Keynote Speaker Petra Kolber:

Petra Kolber is an author, speaker, podcast host, and, most recently, a DJ. In August 2018, Petra released her first book, The Perfection Detox. Petra has over 30 years of experience in the wellness industry and is a certified performance coach with a specialty in positive psychology. As a two-time cancer survivor, she is passionate about waking people up to the precious gift of time and works with individuals and companies to help them get unstuck so they can become unstoppable.

Mandy Gonzalez:

Currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the megahit Hamilton, Gonzalez also originated and starred in the role of Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. She starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, for which she was honored with a Award for Best Replacement. Other Broadway roles include Princess Amneris in the Elton John and Tim Rice musical, Aida, and as Beatles icon John Lennon in Lennon. She received an Obie Award for her performance in the Off-Broadway production of Eli's Comin'. Her television appearances include Madam Secretary, Quantico, Doubt, White Collar, and The Good Wife. She also appeared in the films Across the Universe, After, Man on a Ledge, and Disney's Mulan 2. A frequent concert soloist, she has performed with symphony orchestras, including New York Pops, Philly Pops, Cleveland Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, and Youngstown Symphony. Her debut album, Fearless, with Warner Music, debuted on the iTunes charts. She is the founder of the online #FearlessSquad platform, which focuses on positivity and inclusiveness.

Krysta Rodriguez:

Krysta Rodriguez is a multitalented actor and singer who has appeared on Broadway in The Addams Family, In the Heights, Spring Awakening, A Chorus Line, First Date the Musical, and Good Vibrations. She appeared in the role of Ana Vargas in the television series SMASH and has appeared in Chasing Life, Inside Amy Schumer, The Mysteries of Laura, and Quantico. She won the Audience Choice Award for Best Breakaway Performance for her performance in The Addams Family.

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