Solo Arts Heal w Judith C

Solo Arts Heal

Hosted by Gail Schickele

Wednesday, Jul 1 | 7:30 PDT
Judith C | Welcome to the Cancer Cafe

Written & Performed by Judith C
Directed by Rebecca Fisher

Join Judith as she chats about the value of Palliative Care with invited guests,
Dr. Loveleena Virk and Rabbi Chaya Gusfield.

“Full performance available at 
https://youtu.be/mRRLSkty3x8 
OR simply type in “Welcome To The Cancer Cafe” on Youtube search”

Show Description

As a Physical Therapist Clinical Specialist in Chronic Pain, Judith C. Dambowic never imagined being on the opposite end of treatment–until she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer with a limited life expectancy. 

Judith’s journey from diagnosis through stem cell transplant unfolds in her hilarious and heartbreaking solo show Welcome to The Cancer Café at The Marsh Berkeley. Motivated by portrayals of cancer heroes, cancer miracles, and people that “fight” for their lives, Judith C. Dambowic was determined to shed light on different responses to cancer than the typical warrior model.

Enlightening, elevating, and deeply personal, Judith brings audiences on her unexpected journey from provider to patient, sharing the profound lessons this role reversal offers. Using actual conversations with providers, Judith portrays her interactions with the medical establishment, bringing keen insight and offering a better understanding of the journey and choices faced by people of similar circumstances.

Noticing how much this Coronavirus pushes people to make important health decisions reminds me of the challenge of treatment choices.  Being accompanied by a specialty medical team can make all the difference when faced with serious choices.

Even ‘educated’ people in my Myeloma support group still view Palliative Care as Hospice – end of life, but that misconception can keep you from valuable resources available as early as receiving a serious diagnosis.

Join me for a warm and lively discussion with Q and A about
this topic with a Chaplain and Palliative Care MD.

Judith C

Artist Biography


Judith C, PT, Clinical Specialist in Chronic Pain, had decades of clinical and teaching experience as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a Chronic Pain Management Program.

At age 58, she received a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, with no clear and accepted treatment path, and a limited life expectancy. She unexpectedly began writing and performing as part of a class to help her manage the ‘new normal’.

Dr. Loveleena Virk has been a physician at Kaiser Permanente at EastBay for over thirteen years. She provides expertise in the fields of hospital-based medicine, perioperative medicine, and palliative medicine. Reflecting on her career, Dr. Virk recognizes she was drawn to the field of medicine by a call to serve others. She has been delivering on this call by weaving compassion and human-focused care into her practice. 

Resources: Understanding Palliative Care

Rabbi Chaya Gusfield, Judith’s life partner, Spiritual Director and Board Certified Chaplain, currently serves as a Palliative Care chaplain at Kaiser Richmond and Oakland. In her work she serves people of all walks of life, including those who are religious and those who are not, accompanying them and their families on their journey of illness. Rabbi Gusfield has written about grief, the stigma of suicide, and leads grief groups.  She leads other Spiritual Direction groups using a variety of modalities including using writing for deep reflection. She works closely with Buddhist teacher Eve Decker offering services and workshops on topics of meaning and healing.  

RESOURCES: You can find Rabbi Gusfield’s writings on her blog.



Solo performers present real-life, empowering stories. Transformative experiences for audiences. A theater of resilience that celebrates overcoming mental and physical life challenges and offers hope and inspiration. SOLO ARTS HEALS will include excerpts, talkbacks, and Q&A that provide education and advocacy. Readings or clips of performances will be shared by artists in conversation with Gail Schickele, whose work as a manager and producer of solo artists inspired collaboration of performing arts presenters with artists on a medical track based on their personal experience. The collective creative vision? To help communities through educational outreach and the healing power of the Arts. 

Solo Arts Heal posts