Nick Martin: Literally Fighting for Cancer

Nick Martin: Literally Fighting for Cancer

Nick Martin always wanted to box. But things kept getting in the way: parents, other sports commitments, life. Then he saw a friend of his don the gloves for the first time, in support of a worthy cause.

Something clicked.

He reached out to his friend, asked some questions, and a few more phone calls followed. One thing led to another, and before long, the same organization that arranged his friend’s fight was talking to him as well.

Soon, Martin will make his boxing debut, fighting as part of Haymakers for Hope.

Haymakers for Hope is a foundation offering amateur boxers – and everyday people – the chance to compete in a sanctioned bout as part of a fundraising event for a number of cancer-related foundations. It stages fights yearly in Denver, Boston, New York, and Washington D.C.

As of Sept. 16, the D.C. event has raised nearly $400,000 across 32 fighters. Martin’s goal is to raise $25,000. Martin has designated Wellness House of Annapolis as his foundation for the bout, which takes place during the Beltway Brawl 3 event on October 13.

Married and recently welcoming his first child into the world, Martin is determined to make a difference where he is able. After learning about Haymakers for Hope from a friend who competed in one of its events in Denver, he began researching possible areas of impact. His boss immediately directed him to Wellness House of Annapolis, and when he was introduced, the fit was immediately clear to him.

“Really the one thing that drew me to you all so much was the close-knit community feel and the family feel of everybody I’ve talked to so far. Because you are so grassroots and it’s not just, you know, it’s not just. ‘Hey, you’re not family so we can’t really treat you.’ You also bring in the close friends and other people that have been emotionally affected by the treatment of whoever it may be, whether it’s just a friend or an uncle, a parent, grandparent,” he said. “That’s why I felt like it was important for me to help out where I can, because that’s the kind of community that I come from.”

Whether learning about Wellness House’s kids camps, the overall community feel, special programs, or counseling services, a holistic approach to the cancer fight from a grassroots level appealed to Martin on almost every level. He understands that the base level support may not be revolutionary in the fight, but it can impact so many people as they endure the battle.

Though Martin’s immediately family hasn’t been directly touched by cancer, the disease began hitting closer and closer to home. His wife’s family has been touched. So has that of his boss, and he said seeing cancer increasingly pop up around him played a major role in taking up the fight.

“In the last two years I’ve had some really close family friends who have dealt with it. Both families, we used to go on vacation (and) we went to church with growing up. So I’ve known them since I was a little kid, and one of their grandfathers got it in this past year and he passed away this year,” Martin said, adding that another friend’s father has also been battling cancer the last several years. “It’s been tough just hearing some of the stories and things that they’re having to go through … the process, the treatment, and then just seeing how it affects the family as a whole.

“That’s part of, again, why I was so drawn to the Wellness House because you all bring it kind of full circle with the kids and the families, and the loved ones and the friends, and giving treatment not just for those that are affected physically, but emotionally as well.”

To read more about Haymakers for Hope, click here.

To support Nick Martin’s fundraising to benefit the Wellness House of Annapolis, click here.

Bridging Generations of Care: Alexa Hoffman’s Story

Bridging Generations of Care: Alexa Hoffman’s Story

Alexa Hoffman picking peaches with wife, Steph Ross.

Alexa Hoffman’s experience with cancer was unique, like so many who go through this journey. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, her family knew that they needed to be there for her. This time around the diagnosis was bile duct cancer.

Alexa quickly moved from Massachusetts to Maryland and her mother moved from New Jersey to Maryland. Since her sister lived in Maryland, it was the easiest way for them all to be close to one another and provide support.

What they didn’t realize right away is that their mother would miss all her friends from back home. She wanted the support of a social network and remembered the value she got from a support group in New Jersey when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years earlier.

Thankfully, her journey took her to Wellness House, where we were able to care for her. Her treatment provider advocated for the support services at Wellness House, and she recognized the value in these services from her prior experience with cancer. At first, the family wanted their mother to have complete ownership of her experience with Wellness House, but they quickly realized that she wanted them to be there, too. She would regularly encourage them to attend some of the services with her and they also found value in the Caregivers Support Group.

Her mother’s favorite activity was Tea Time at Our House, which was moved to a virtual Zoom session over the course of the pandemic. “She enjoyed Tea Time so much. I did go with her once because she really wanted it, and I could not deny her much of anything. It was almost like the non-alcoholic version
of Cheers. She was able to walk in, people knew her name, you know? She was like a popular classmate,
and it just made me really happy,” said Alexa.

Alexa was so grateful to have these connections, especially after her mom passed. She received several messages from the members who had become friends and had sent her cards. Alexa felt this beautiful connection and knew she wasn’t the only one who missed her mom. “The Wellness House facilitated the
kinds of connections that would make me feel like other people got to see her without the cancer, being
all she was.” Alexa and her family cherished Tea Time so much that they chose to donate funds to help
facilitate this service and to spread joy to others diagnosed with cancer.

What Alexa did not see coming next was her own cancer diagnosis. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just shy of a month before her 39th birthday and joined Where Young Adults (YA) Meet Support Group at Wellness House, available to members who are 18-45 years old. “I have found that to be extremely valuable, not something that I feel like I have to do, but something I want to do,” said Alexa.

Alexa has also found the therapeutic art classes to be extremely helpful in easing the stress of navigating this difficult situation. “I loved the fact that we just did art on the Zoom calls and there wasn’t a ton of conversation. You explained your art at the end. The quality of my art might not have been very good, but the action was the journey, not the end state.”

Alexa further shares her gratitude for her experience with Wellness House being therapeutic for her and also for her relationship with her mother. She witnessed her mother being truly appreciated for the unique person she was and joining with others before departing from this life. “She found energy in connecting with others, especially with those who were going through something similar to her. It gave her an opportunity to be the vibrant person that she was at her core by spending time with people and not necessarily talking about cancer treatment.”

Alexa Hoffman is happily married to her wife of 5 years, Steph Ross, and currently lives in Maryland. In her career, she is a Senior Director of Global Distribution Products for Cision in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Her diagnosis came at the beginning of March 2020 and her first surgery was at the end of that month. She is now on hormone therapy and continuing her process of recovery.

Jacob’s Journey to Wellness House

Jacob’s Journey to Wellness House

Jacob Tribull, Wellness House Member & Volunteer

Why Members Make Good Volunteers 

Jacob Tribull, Wellness House member and volunteer, spoke with us regarding his involvement as a counselor in our kids’ summer camp and his own father’s experience with cancer. Jacob went to St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis. It was there he met an admissions counselor named Tina Allen who was very involved in volunteering at Wellness House of Annapolis.  

He explained his own passion for volunteering that developed after his sister was hit by a car at the age of 7 leaving her disabled. Jacob recalled his memory of growing up in a rehabilitation environment and being passionate about this type of volunteer work. Tina’s interest was piqued by Jacob’s experience with his sister and with volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. She saw an instant parallel between these experiences and the work of Wellness House. 

Tina graciously offered to introduce him to the staff, and a connection was instantly made. “What was really interesting is that this was before my own family’s experience with cancer. I had volunteered for two summer camps before my dad was diagnosed with cancer,” said Jacob.  

His father started getting sick around 2018 after Jacob had been volunteering at Wellness House. Jacob describes a visit that they were on to check out a potential college. “My dad was constantly getting sick. We were on a recruiting visit, and my dad passed out and got really sick. We came home the next day after that visit, and he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.” 

From 2018 to the end of 2019, Jacob’s father battled many issues resulting from the cancer. During this time, Jacob expanded beyond volunteering to participate in our services as a member at the Wellness House. He learned different ways of coping with the stress from his father’s diagnosis and turning it into something positive.  

Watching the kids in camp is something that inspired him to become more resilient. “There is really a heightened level of maturity with the kids that I’ve seen at these camps compared to other camps that I’ve worked at in the summer. You can see that when the parents come to pick up the kids, the kids already have their backpacks on like they’re ready to go,” said Jacob. He noticed that the kids had no problem transitioning from their normal day-to-day activities to supporting their family members who were experiencing a cancer diagnosis. 

Wellness House offered Jacob many things as a member, but what he didn’t expect was to also learn from the kids as a volunteer camp counselor. “I was doing a lot of things for my dad. I learned how to mix his medicines, how to prepare different bandages for him, and all of the stuff that comes along with cancer. I was also able to learn to use what I use with the kids at the camp, to flip that switch. For example, when it was my senior night, and my dad had been released from the hospital, I was able to flip the switch and walk him across the field and back off the field back into the stands.” When Jacob says “flip that switch,” he is referring to having to pivot from the role of a child into the role of caretaker or supportive family member of someone diagnosed with cancer.  

He describes how juggling the responsibilities that come along with cancer is just as important as not letting them consume your life. Jacob said, “People don’t realize that you can still have a life outside of cancer, especially as a family member dealing with it.”  

In 2019 his father was finally declared cancer-free after a 13-hour long surgery, but unfortunately, this past year he was re-diagnosed following a CT scan of his liver that was performed after a car accident. The doctors found that the cancer had metastasized to his liver, so he is now back in chemotherapy.  

Jacob and his family continue to be hopeful, volunteering and relying on the services and support of Wellness House of Annapolis throughout their journey with cancer. Jacob said, “You can trust these people at this house. Everyone’s going through the same thing you’re going through, so it provides an awesome support network of people that want to help.” 
Jacob Tribull plays division 3 football at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and is also studying biomedical engineering. He has a minor in chemistry and is currently on track to specialize in pre-med with the goal to eventually go to medical school. When he’s not playing football or studying, he’s spending time with his family, helping with errands and cooking meals.  

Controlling What You Can: Nutrition and Wellness with Tina Hinchman

Controlling What You Can: Nutrition and Wellness with Tina Hinchman

Tina Hinchman, Wellness House Volunteer and Nutritionist

Taking back as much control as you can in life is one of the key ideas that Tina Hinchman, nutritionist, and Wellness House volunteer, focuses on in her own health and wellness journey. As someone diagnosed with two health conditions herself, Tina focuses on how she can integrate healthy lifestyle changes that can mitigate or eliminate the negative aspects of these conditions. 

One diagnosis is a condition called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, commonly referred to as ITP, which is a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s blood does not clot properly because the immune system destroys the blood-clotting platelets. The other diagnosis is Hashimoto’s disease, a condition where your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of the neck below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid is responsible for coordinating many of your body’s functions including your metabolism.  

“I got prescribed medicine for my thyroid, started working with a hematologist for my ITP, and that’s what really triggered my research into exercise and nutrition. I got my certifications pretty quickly, in 2014 I was a certified personal trainer, 6 months later I got certified as a health coach, and about a year later, around 2015, I got my certification as a holistic integrative nutritionist,” says Tina.  

Her goal from this point forward was to help people, specifically women around her age with autoimmune disorders, to understand a diet that will optimize their well-being specifically in line with their condition. That’s when Tina encountered the Wellness House. At the time she was still working a corporate job in addition to working as a nutritionist and was looking for an opportunity to volunteer with her team. As a part of their annual volunteer initiative, they stumbled onto one of Wellness House’s cleanup events.  

“I took my whole team, and we went out and I immediately felt a connection to the place. I just felt it had such a healing presence and I asked a lot of questions about the practitioners and how they got involved. I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is a great place to volunteer when I start my business as a nutritionist full time,’” says Tina. Shortly thereafter she approached the Wellness House to offer her services for free as a nutritionist, which were graciously accepted.  

Today, Tina works with us as a volunteer, providing nutritional expertise through classes and seminars with members, as well as connecting with them on a personal level. She volunteers a few hours of her time a month to provide education to members, which she loves doing.  

Tina’s main advice to anyone looking to improve their health and wellness through nutrition is to focus on five key areas of their life. She tells us, “Your diet, exercise, sleep, stress level, and spirituality. When you think about these five key areas, that I focus on as an integrative nutritionist, it’s not just about the food, it’s also these key areas of your life that need to be balanced for optimal health.” These five areas are really in your control, and although they may feel overwhelming, there are many small steps you can take to get yourself into a balance that you can successfully manage. 

Tina Hinchman is a multifaceted health and wellness professional, health coach, integrative nutritionist, personal trainer, and kitchen maven. She is currently finishing her master’s in clinical nutrition. Her specialties are helping people stay healthy, active, and vibrant through midlife and beyond. Tina is also a mother and active member of the Annapolis community who graciously donates her time to the benefit of Wellness House of Annapolis and our members.  

The Science and the Art of Oncology

The Science and the Art of Oncology

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Dr. Benjamin Bridges, Maryland Oncology Hematology

In a recent meeting with Dr. Benjamin Bridges of Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH), Wellness House of Annapolis learned about his passion for science. As he described his journey in oncology, he shared that he had met his wife while they studied together at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Bridges and his wife later moved to Maryland, where he completed his Internal Medicine Residency at University of Maryland Medical Systems.   

Dr. Bridges described his experience with cancer in his family, “When I was a first-year resident, my grandfather got lung cancer. So, I got a first-hand experience seeing the world that a cancer patient lives in,” said Dr. Bridges. This connection presented an opportunity to be involved from someone who had expertise in the science, as well as the personal side of a family member’s experience.  

He further explained, “When he got the diagnosis, I was to a certain extent involved with his care as the medical person in the family who could talk to his doctors and get the real story about what was going on. I saw how the cancer affected him and the rest of my family. This led to my next steps, during my second and third year of residency, when I rotated through the Cancer Center at University of Maryland a couple of times.”  

His impressive work continued, along with his passion, working in the field of oncology, which eventually took him to Boise, Idaho where he was Director of Early Phase Research at Mountain States Tumor Institute. He continued his career in oncological research, becoming Principal Investigator in the Pacific Cancer Research Consortium in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute, the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington, and the Providence Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon. 

After completing research projects in Boise, Dr. Bridges and his wife contemplated where they could live the life that they wanted, while contributing to a robust medical community at the forefront of cancer therapies. They determined that the Maryland area would be the best option for them, and he joined the staff at Maryland Oncology Hematology.  

After joining MOH, he learned about the significant and positive impact Wellness House had on his cancer patients. He was able to see first-hand how patients were given the additional support and motivation they needed to withstand the arduous cancer treatment programs.  

He shared one of his first experiences with the Wellness House with a young patient of his, who was going through chemotherapy prior to breast cancer surgery. He found that Wellness House’s services were instrumental in her ability to get through the treatment and negative side effects. “She experienced this at a time where she also had young children. I think it really provided the additional support that my clinic could not have given to her,” Dr. Bridges explains. 

“Mainly, she participated in a lot of the guided meditation classes that you guys do, and it really allowed her to cope with the chemotherapy and the difficult things that she had to get through. I suspect if she had not had those classes available to her, it would have been much more difficult for her to get through the treatment,” said Dr. Bridges.  

Dr. Benjamin Bridges of Maryland Oncology Hematology is married and lives in Crownsville with his wife and St. Bernard. He is extremely active in MOH’s clinical research program, publishing research articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals in the areas of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer with a major clinical interest in lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer.

A Full Spectrum of Care Without the Additional Financial Burden

A Full Spectrum of Care Without the Additional Financial Burden

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Dr. David Weng, Maryland Oncology Hematology

Wellness House recently spoke with Dr. Weng about the importance of our partnership with Maryland Oncology Hematology. “The partnership between the Wellness House and Maryland Oncology Hematology in Annapolis is really one of the highlights of our relationship with our community. The Wellness House represents a tremendous resource for the community and the patients that we serve,” says Dr. David Weng of Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH).

The proud son of two immigrant parents, whose mother arrived in the United States from France by way of Ellis Island, Dr. David Weng lived in several states before settling in the area. He was born in Chicago, but grew up in Michigan, where he left to attend Harvard in Boston and earn his bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences. His education continued, along with his travels, to Maryland where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He went on to a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health with a focus on research in new cancer therapies.

He later joined the staff at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where he spent 8 years as a breast cancer specialist and was involved in clinical and laboratory research. He found that he really enjoyed doing research on behalf of his patients to help them find new options for care. Dr. Weng saw how he could make an even greater impact with his patients, learning more about cancer research and gaining expertise for developing new therapies.

Around 2014 he returned to Maryland to practice oncology and joined the group of doctors, nurses, and staff that comprise MOH. When asked what he enjoys about his profession, he described his appreciation for being a member of a team of doctors committed to quality of care and having the best cancer therapies available for patients. He takes pride in taking care of each patient as a whole person with an emphasis on the impact it has on their family. As he describes, that is where Wellness House enters the picture.

Additionally, he states, “What Wellness House has that isn’t easily available in a lot of other areas is this focus on building a personal community for a patient, because that’s really disrupted by any disease condition. People feel very isolated because of all the issues that occur, impacting their physical, mental and social health, and family relationships,” says Dr. Weng.

He goes on to explain how Wellness House removes the financial barriers that sometimes exist to prevent access to community resources and explains, “The fact that patients can participate in the services of Wellness House without any financial cost is really tremendous because one of the most difficult things about any disease is the strain on the financial health of a family, including the disruption of their work, as well as the new charges and bills that come as a result of all the care that is needed. Cancer can cost individuals tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, depending on insurance coverage. This leaves many families struggling to pay medical bills with little money left over to invest in palliative care and wellness services that are so important to a patient’s recovery.”

Reducing the anxiety about financial costs of the palliative care and wellness services is part of feeling comfortable using the service. Wellness House also responds to wherever the need is, providing a full spectrum of services, wherever someone is on their cancer journey.

Dr. David Weng of Maryland Oncology Hematology specializes in oncology and earned his medical and Ph.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He grew up in Michigan, the proud son of two immigrant parents, and became involved in oncology, initially to focus on developing new cancer therapies. He is happily married with 5 teenagers, including triplets.

Pride Month: Inclusion and Cancer Treatment

Pride Month: Inclusion and Cancer Treatment

Wellness House of Annapolis spoke with Jacqueline Shanahan of Maryland Oncology Hematology – Annapolis about inclusion and cancer treatment for Pride month. In our recent interview, we asked, “What’s the most important thing for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ to know about seeking medical care when experiencing a cancer diagnosis?”  

Jackie explained that the answer can be complicated. She pointed out that while we have made some strides for the LGBTQ+ community, we still find that individuals that identify as LGBTQ+ sometimes find that there is discrimination and institutional bias when it comes to healthcare. As a result, these individuals might be diagnosed at a later stage of their cancer due to fear of engaging with the medical services that they require.  

On a good note, Jackie shared that both Maryland Oncology Hematology (MOH) and Wellness House of Annapolis (“Wellness House”) are welcoming environments, and both focus on delivering support to patients that is warm and helpful. Regardless of the patient’s identity, MOH and Wellness House look at the whole person and continue support through treatment and into survivorship.  

MOH focuses on educating patients about screening and other vital procedures as they travel on their journey managing their cancer diagnosis.  MOH is striving to utilize sexual orientation and gender identity data – SOGI data – to provide high-quality, patient-centered care for all their patients. The SOGI data provides a better picture of the patient’s susceptibility to certain types of cancer, as well as effective and preferred treatment options. This data informs medical institutions about appropriate care for their patients, taking into consideration all the aspects of their identity.  

The experienced team at MOH knows from first-hand experience that LGBTQ individuals are at higher risk for certain types of cancer. For example, Jackie shares, “Gay men are at a higher risk for anal and colon cancer. Screenings can certainly lead to being diagnosed at an earlier stage.” She goes on to advise, “The most important thing you can do is to talk to your physician openly and honestly. If there are any red flags at all, you should look for another provider. Your treatment relies on the relationship that you have with the physician.” 

When asked about how we can improve outcomes for LGBTQ+ patients engaged in oncology treatment, Jackie says, “It’s really just education of both the general population and medical community when it comes to collecting this data. Things are getting better, but communication is key, it’s a two-way street with the patient and their physician.”  

Jacqueline Shanahan is a Certified Oncology Nurse with Maryland Oncology Hematology. She spends every day, and many nights and weekends caring for her oncology patients. Her focus is on the patient and ensuring that they receive the care and attention that they deserve. 

Food Is Medicine: Microgreens and Wellness

Food Is Medicine: Microgreens and Wellness

The Green Anarchist, Annapolis, MD

The medicinal value of food is something that is greatly overlooked in our modern age of microwave meals and drive-throughs. Lavon Sajona and Michel Fretin believe that fresh, nutritious, and healthful foods should be easily accessible to everyone. They own The Green Anarchist, located in Annapolis Maryland. This minority female and veteran-owned urban farm specializes in growing farm-to-table microgreens.

Growing up in the south, Lavon learned from her grandmother at a young age the importance of growing her own food in the garden. Her grandmother taught her that food not only provides nutrients, it also heals ailments within the body. She had high blood pressure and diabetes and chose food over medicine to solve her problems. “She controlled it with food,” says Lavon.

Lavon’s partner, Michel Fretin, had a different source of inspiration. His sister passed from cancer, and he wanted to assist others in similar situations by providing them with wholesome foods to nourish their bodies. He realized the need for fresh, nutrient-rich produce that was easy to eat and incorporate into a healthy and balanced diet.

Michel, a former restauranteur, believes in the enjoyment of the food, as well as receiving many of the nutritious benefits it can deliver. These microgreens offer many interesting combinations for foodies and chefs alike. Michel and Lavon describe an apple and pear tart a la mode served with microgreens on top and flambeed. “There’s just so many great things you can do with them if you want, you can just let your creativity and imagination run wild,” says Michel.

Microgreens provide a way for people to get more nutrients than mature vegetable greens in a smaller amount of food, and they can be grown in many locations. When comparing the nutrient levels of microgreens to regular vegetables, Lavon says, “They are 40 times more nutrient dense than the mature best local counterparts. So, what I mean by that is, a broccoli microgreen is more nutritious in that state of growth than a full mature head of broccoli, which is incredible!”

These young vegetable greens only grow to their second set of leaves before they are harvested for use in all types of culinary fare as well as juices. Their aromatic flavor and concentrated nutrient content even come in a variety of colors and flavors. Due to their short growth period, they can be grown indoors in settings that enable them to be quickly distributed to the local community without needing to travel too far.

Michel and Lavon took the opportunity to bring more nutritious food to the local community by farming microgreens. As Michel sees it, “Our food supply chain is very antiquated, and food is planted so far away from cities. We wanted to be a catalyst to provide more nutrient dense food to the community.” The Green Anarchist uses only pure organic materials and no pesticides when growing their microgreens to eliminate impurities.

To back up their approach, current research has shown that antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of various types of cancer. The microgreens grown by Lavon and Michel are vegetables rich in polyphenol, an antioxidant considered by various research studies to lower the risk of cancer. (

We are grateful to Michel and Lavon for providing some of The Green Anarchist’s microgreens to Wellness House members to aid in their healing. These microgreens will be utilized to teach individuals diagnosed with cancer and their families about proper diet and nutrition along their journey.

Successful Cancer Treatment Isn’t Just Medical

Successful Cancer Treatment Isn’t Just Medical

Wellness House of Annapolis receives a much-needed contribution from one of its largest sponsors, Maryland Oncology Hematology – Annapolis, to help bolster their individual and group therapy support services for the community.

Wellness House of Annapolis welcomed MOHA on April 22, 2021 for a visit and a tour of the House.

[ANNAPOLIS, MD, May 4, 2021] — Wellness House of Annapolis (WHA) is excited to announce Maryland Oncology Hematology – Annapolis (MOH-A) as a new Top Sponsor for their dynamic psychological support services program. These vital counseling programs are free and have helped thousands of cancer patients, their families and caregivers in the Annapolis area navigate through the functional, emotional, and spiritual adjustments necessary to maintain their quality of life during their cancer journey. “Our patients have benefited from the holistic support of Wellness House for many years. As I walk the halls of this house, I feel the warmth of the family memories, supportive moments, and sense of well-being the Wellness House has offered so many of our patients. It is an honor to be able to financially support an organization that has been so welcoming to patients, especially during this difficult pandemic time,” says Dr. Carol Tweed, M.D. of MOH-A.

The local group of physicians at MOH – Annapolis cancer care center treat patients in a new state-of-the-art facility that provides infusion services, chemotherapy, biologics, and an on-site lab, all in one location. The doctors feel strongly about the support services at WHA and believe it indispensable to the holistic health and treatment of cancer patients in the community. “Relaxation techniques, meditation, massage, and therapy can help patients and families cope with symptoms from cancer and the treatments used to treat their cancer. We are very fortunate to have Wellness House of Annapolis right here to partner with us in their care.” – Dr. Jeanine L. Werner of MOH-A.

About Wellness House of Annapolis

WHA has been a beacon of hope for cancer patients and their families. For over 14 years, WHA has been providing free support, education, and counseling services to help individuals and families who have been touched by cancer recover their health and well-being in a nurturing home-like environment. WHA is a 501(c)3 that provides over 35 free programs and services to cancer patients and their loved ones from diagnosis to survivorship. These programs include yoga, meditation, reiki, seminars on progressive treatment options, counseling, support groups, and children’s programs. “Relief from physical, psychosocial, and spiritual problems can be achieved in over 90% of advanced cancer patients through palliative care” (World Health Organization,

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Mary Jermann, Executive Director, at (410) 990-0941, or email

Filling the Gap in Oncology Care

Filling the Gap in Oncology Care

“For nearly a decade, my patients have been part of the Wellness House family and community.”

Dr. Carol Tweed, Maryland Oncology Hematology

That is just one of the many reasons she is looking forward to formalizing the partnership between Maryland Oncology Hematology and the Wellness House of Annapolis.

“Quite frankly, as dedicated as we are to the patients,” Dr. Tweed says, “as oncologists we cannot fill these gaps due to being in a clinical setting. Instead, we are focused on medical discussions so often that we really can’t fill these non-medical gaps.”

Dr. Tweed started her journey in oncology, growing up in a household of scientists in a small community in West Virginia. Her town had a beloved, favorite oncologist, and many needing medical guidance related to cancer went to him. What inspired her most was his decision to return to his hometown to serve his community after he completed his medical and oncology education. She describes this as something very special and rare. After spending one day with this incredible man, she was inspired to pursue a medical career in oncology because she understood the impact she could have on people’s lives.

While in high school, Dr. Tweed’s own father was diagnosed with cancer, and she came to the realization that many of the doctors were not bringing enough resources to the table for his treatment. She describes another experience from her high school days, where she was motivated by an article written by a doctor who explained the process of something called apoptosis. This critical process involves the death of cells within an organism that occurs as part of its normal growth and development. He went on to explain that if someone could figure out how to kill cancer cells through natural apoptosis, they would be able to cure cancer.

The culmination of these events in her life ultimately led to her career as an active clinical researcher and principal investigator on numerous national and international clinical trials, and as an oncologist at Maryland Oncology Hematology. Because of her personal experiences, Dr. Tweed brings a unique perspective to her own patients. She understands the significance of the offerings of Wellness House as they complement her medical care. She fondly describes an experience with families who responded to her suggestion to contact Wellness House, where they received support and comfort and the much-needed counseling and respite care.

“The Wellness House offers all of the facets of support that oncologists and oncology clinics [don’t typically] offer a patient, no matter how dedicated or invested we are in their care. It offers a lot of the heart, counseling, advice, and input of other patients and family members who have been through this… as well as so many resources for patients’ family members that really help a patient feel supported as they go through this difficult process.”

Wellness House of Annapolis is not just a place, but also a concept that offers a broad and rather complex support system for individuals diagnosed with cancer. Whether it’s the physical programs, including yoga classes, healing touch and massage to name a few, or the individual and family counseling sessions, Wellness House is a safe space where patients and family members can rely on for years after cancer treatment.

Wellness House is enthusiastically looking forward to our new partnership with Maryland Oncology Hematology where we can continue to fill the gaps in services not being filled by medical facilities. These services are essential for the overall wellness of the individuals and families experiencing a cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Carol Tweed has been an oncologist for over 15 years and with Maryland Oncology Hematology since October of 2020. She attended Duke University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Biology, and a concentration in molecular biology. She received her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.