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¨Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.¨ Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you missed our miniSeminar: Holistic Health – Mindfulness | Part 2 of 3, scroll down and find the recording of June 11, 2022.

The miniSeminar was developed because the sickle cell community wanted us to add a third or even fourth day to our Annual SCD Educational Summit. Given that we cannot go beyond three days, the opportunity presented itself for us to offer more in depth learning experiences on particular topics. Our miniSeminars are one of our most popular educational opportunities for the sickle cell community.

Meet our Breathwork Instructor

Dr. Marjorie Dejoie Brewer |

She owns MAD Fit, a medical consulting and Wellness & Health business, and currently holds the position of Medical Director of hemoglobinopathies in Global Medical Affairs and Global Strategist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Medical Director for the Sickle Cell Association of Delaware. She serves as Co-Chair of the Mental Health and Wellness initiative for the Sickle Cell Consortium, a medical consultant to SCDAA National, an ambassador to SICK cells, and group leader for Meditation for Leadership. Prior to that, she held the position of Director of Patient Advocacy for Global Product Development in Rare Disease at Pfizer and Clinical Research Outreach Liaison for Hydroxyurea and Transition at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her ground-breaking work as a primary medical consultant for the Mayor’s “Fun, Fit, and Free” program, a key part of the Mayor’s Commission for Health, Fitness, and inclusion, allowed her to apply her training in medicine, exercise physiology, and alternative medicine in an integrative, community based, preventative format with the primary goal of making Philadelphia a healthier city. From there, she molded a career in Functional Medicine, which utilizes a fusion of the principles of medicine, prescribed exercise, bio-psychosocial elements, stress reduction, nutrition, yoga, and alternative medicine in the holistic treatment and care of patients with rare diseases and clients. Herself a patient of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), Dr. Dejoie is a firm proponent and practitioner of comprehensive and preventative health and wellness planning. This became the mission behind her consulting firm “M.A.D. fit” established in 2002. Building on this foundation, Dr. Dejoie opened a wellness center, “Bonne Santé” in the fall of 2003, dedicating herself to making this world a better place by making it healthier, one person at a time.

Meet our Moderator | Speaker

Shirley Powell |

In 1956, Shirley Powell was born with a potentially life-threatening hereditary condition: sickle cell disease. For 33 years, she suffered tremendously with debilitating and painful crises, secondary illnesses, dozens and dozens of hospitalizations, and various surgeries. She also previously suffered from hypothyroidism, eczema, and irritable bowel syndrome.

In spite of the devastation of the disease and other limitations she faced due to the disadvantageous socioeconomic conditions of her upbringing, she excelled scholastically and was a child entrepreneur. She received a scholarship to attend college and chose to attend Strayer College in Washington, D.C., graduating cum laude with a degree in court and conference reporting. She excelled in her 23-year reporting career, and for the last 12 years in that profession, from 1990 to 2001, she was the owner of one of the largest African- American owned court and conference reporting companies in the country. Her entrepreneurial spirit thrived over the years. She also became a REALTOR®, affiliated with the third largest real estate company in the country. In 2001, she co-founded and was the executive director of an alternative medicine practice.

Her own journey into the natural healing and wellness ministry and private practice came through that trial of 33 years of ongoing physical pain and suffering from sickle cell disease and other health challenges, beating life expectancy and health condition odds. It was through that very journey that the Lord led her to a place of knowledge, wisdom, and growth in overcoming the devastation of that condition and others, moving from chronic victimization to constant victories. As a result, for 20 victorious years, Shirley is Exhibit A of God’s healing power. God heals in a number of ways, and one way He provides healing is through obedience to his principles and living from his bounty, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Meet our Speaker

Brenda Barrios-Rodriguez |

The challenges of working with young people and my personal challenges with chronic pain, family mental illness, and loss, have led me on the journey of yoga and meditation. I have practiced yoga for over 15 years and yet it was when the challenges became overwhelming that the connection between meditation/ mindfulness and yoga finally arose in me. The peace and joy that I am able to enjoy today are due to yoga and mindfulness.

For the last 7 years, I have incorporated mindfulness into my classroom lessons working with struggling /at-risk youth (12- 15 years olds) which resulted in a greater connection. Simple statements expressed, such as, “Teacher, I just feel ….good” were an amazing feeling for someone who is mourning the loss of a parent. In the last 3 years, through Covid, I have continued to provide Yoga and Mindfulness to K-6th grade students, staff, family, and friends.

The opening to connect with self and with others is an element that arises from this practice. The ability to access joy in our life, stay in the moment, and live a fuller, more connected life, is what guides me to go deeper and offer yoga and mindfulness to my community.

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