Wendy Campbell, Founder
Wendy has been practicing yoga since 2000 and has dedicated her life to teaching yoga since 2011. She has her certification through The National Yoga Alliance and has specialized training with the Yoga4Cancer program. Her yoga journey began as a casual restorative practice. In 2006, she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma everything changed. After going through cancer treatment in 2006 , she was told to"go live your life." Well, "her life" did not make sense anymore. Nothing was the same -cancer is a game changer. Happily, yoga continues helped her to connect the dots and make sense of life. Her yoga practice evolved into her mental and emotional life line as she recovered. Learn more about her yoga journey here and her experience with cancer here It has become her personal commitment to use her energy in a meaningful way. This is why she founded Survive & Thrive.
Marc Simon, Vice President
Marc Simon has been an advertising copywriter and comedy writer/performer on a public access radio station in his native Pittsburgh. His short fiction has appeared in several literary magazines, his one-act plays have been three-time winners in the Naples Sugden Theater New Plays Contest, and his debut novel, The Leap Year Boy was published in December 2012. In addition, Marc teaches a memoir writing workshop at the Naples Senior Center.
"For years ago, I was experiencing severe back and leg pain. After trying all the traditional remedies, including spinal injections, I was told my next option was surgery. I decided to try yoga instead. Following a therapeutic routine prescribed by Survive & Thrive founder Wendy Campbell, my pain gradullay began to lessen. After six weeks I was virtually pain free. As one that has experienced the healing power of yoga, I'm committed to the success of Survive & Thrive.
Christina Talford, Secretary
Christina has practiced yoga with Survive and Thrive founder, Wendy Campbell over the past 5 years. Initially, she began her practice as a way to reduce the stress and anxiety that came along with infertility treatments she was undergoing. Her practice allowed her to better connect to her body and ultimately set an optimal foundation for a healthy pregnancy. Today, Christina and her husband Rob enjoy raising their two wonderful boys. She holds a degree in Advertising/Public Relations and helps with all administrative duties and public relations. Christina is dedicated to helping others enrich their lives through the works of Survive and Thrive.
David Williams, Treasurer
Two years into her battle with metastatic breast cancer, David's wife Melinda Williams discovered Survive & Thrive. She attended weekly yoga for cancer classes with Wendy Campbell and participated in events. Survive & Thrive served as an anchor for Melinda. She found a sense of peace and community that resonated with her. After her battle reached the five-year mark, Melinda passed away in September, 2018.
David related their story. “It had been a hard fought battle, so painful to witness… but she never wavered. Five years of fierce, unwavering determination, in the face of failed treatment after failed treatment… she struggled with the medical community, both alternative and conventional. Not always because of the science, but mainly because of the lack of empathy that Melinda and I experienced. Our fight was on two fronts - the apathetic medical community, and the disease itself. Survive & Thrive helped to soften the experience.”
The toll it took on Melinda’s family was/is tremendous. David knew how much her yoga practice meant to her and started taking weekly classes with Wendy Campbell. Yoga has become an important part of his healing.
“As I think back from this new perspective… I have realized that the love Melinda was sharing with us in her last days was coming from a place outside of the physical… this time that should have been the most difficult and painful turned into a physically painless journey of spiritual joy. Melinda was so in love with the mission of Survive & Thrive. The mission of peace and kindness that is missing when battling cancer. Survive & Thrive continues to help me with myself and with continuing her legacy… “
We are thrilled that David is now sharing his business expertise and heart as the Treasurer of Survive & Thrive
James C. Salwitz, MD Board Member
Dr. James Salwitz is a medical oncologist and a clinical professor with a career-long interest in the relationship of patients and doctors to the medical system. He has previously served as the County President of the American Cancer Society and presently serves as President of the Medical staff at RWJUH. Dr. Salwitz frequently provides community lectures related to coping with cancer, palliative and hospice care. As a strong advocate for patient empowerment, Dr Salwitz offers an informative and compassionate perspective.
Check out his blog SUNRISE ROUNDS.
Julie K. Pisarri, C.P.A.
Julie is a licensed Certified Public Accountant with an extensive background in Individual, Trust and Estate, Non-profit, Small Business, and multi-state accounting and taxation. Raised in Columbus, Ohio, Julie attended the University of Florida and earned a Masters of Science degree in Accounting and Taxation from Florida Gulf Coast University.
" I am a firm believer in the power of Survive and Thrive's mission to support and provide programs to not only cancer patients but their caregivers. As with so many people and families, cancer has impacted my family and friends in profound ways. During the same time period my Mom battled breast cancer and passed away at the age of 58, my Grandmother received the same diagnosis and passed away a few months before my Mom, and my husband was diagnosed with Melanoma and underwent surgeries and treatment. For me as a caregiver, the balance and mind-fullness of yoga was an invaluable tool. Being in the moment of your practice where you are not experiencing the world as a patient or caregiver is a powerful and healing gift."