My name is Michelle Stortz. I teach yoga to cancer patients and to people dealing with chronic illnesses. I do so at several medical institutions and cancer organizations in the Philadelphia area. I also work with patients in their own homes and in my home studio. In all of these locations I am an independent contractor, piecemealing my income together week by week, month by month. It is a struggle, but this is the work I want to do; it is all that I do and I've dedicated my life to it. I'm asking for support in this endeavor. With that support, I will be able to do several things: create online products and services such as a mini video course with the essential elements of my teachings; offer scholarships to the numerous patients with financial hardships; and purchase more yoga props and accessories that are so helpful for this adaptive form of yoga.
I started doing this work after losing my husband to cancer in 2009. He and I had a yoga practice together and I saw firsthand how it helped with everything - from dealing with side effects of treatment and stress, to trying to keep a full-time job. After he passed away, I left my career in the performing arts and undertook a specialized yoga training that now allows me to work safely with cancer and chronic illness patients.
The research on medical yoga is impressive. It continues to support what we already knew - that the practices within yoga help reduce stress, improve surgery recovery time, support the immune system, reduce insomnia and anxiety and generally improve a patient's sense of well-being. All good stuff. The research continues. Here's a link to the "Research"
page on my website: www.michellestortz.com
I already have an informal scholarship program (non-tax deductible) that has allowed me to offer free private sessions or class fees to patients struggling financially. And believe me, medical costs, especially for alternative modalities, do add up! That informal support has been modest, but greatly appreciated. I'm hoping that with the support from this GoFundMe campaign I will be able to serve many, many more patients, both in person and via the Internet. Thanks for considering.