Gretchen Blackmer Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, NM
Gretchen currently guides weekly yoga programming at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, where she leads therapeutic group yoga sessions and individual mindfulness instruction for both children and teens diagnosed with cancer.
"The beauty of yoga is in the branches. For some, this can be a purely physical journey, for others a deeply spiritual experience. For Gretchen Blackmer, yoga grew out of a basic need to support student behavioral health and emotional regulation in the dual-diagnosis special education environment. What started there as a tiny seed of inspiration, has since flourished into an awakened passion for supporting youth empowerment through the therapeutic practices of yoga and mindfulness.
As a Certified Child Life Specialist and registered instructor of the Viniyoga tradition, with advanced certifications in children's yoga, mindfulness, Prison Yoga, Street Yoga & adaptive mobility methods, Gretchen embraces the potential for these practices to transcend the mat and guided teaching environment. With this intention, Gretchen shares yoga as an accessible coping tool option that each student can construct, adapt & utilize independently and apply directly to their own experience in living."
"We have been enjoying the breathing balls and mats in the Pediatric Infusion Center, and I can't wait to share these new care packages with our children and teens as well! Your guide book is wonderful and will be such a valuable resource for our patients to take home and continue their yoga coping tool practice with. I have found that while just beginning to share these Childhood Cancer Kids resources and information, so many of our patients, families and staff remain especially open to how yoga could benefit their experience in living, compared to other strategies I've shared in the past, given how closely Sierra's story relates to their own. Thank you all again for choosing to support our service and young patients here at Presbyterian hospital. You are truly making an impact and we couldn't be more grateful for your investment."
We Bring Yoga to Children with Cancer
Yale Pediatric Oncology Hematology/Tommy Fund
Jimmy Fund/ Dana Faber
Boston Children’s Hospital
The Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies
Presbyterian Hospital, New Mexico
Individual Children (see contact page to refer a child)