Beat the Odds retreat announced! Sunday, October 20th to Friday, October 25th, 2013

Time tested, evidence based support program for mind, body and spirit

Beat the Odds® Retreat Session Join us for a unique 5-day healing experience! Download the Beat the Odds Retreat Flyer  here

The view from the Mary & Joseph Retreat Center

Sunday, October 20th to Friday, October 25th, 2013

Beat the Odds® – a Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Program is designed to help patients and their loved ones more effectively deal with different aspects of cancer. The program is inspired by the work of Dr. O. Carl Simonton, radiation oncologist and the pioneer of psycho-oncology. The program is based on modern medical and psychological research. Our focus is on practical skills and strategies to improve quality of life and feeling better NOW that include:

 Strengthening vitality, joy and healthy hope
 Reducing stress and negative emotions
 Advancing capacity for relaxation, mindfulness, imagery and unconditioned awareness
 Empowering trust and wisdom of the individual
 Converting fear into peace of mind
 Symptom management: effectively dealing with fatigue, pain, nausea etc
 Bringing balance in activities of life including nutrition, exercise, play and purpose
 Improving communication skills and enlarging quality support system

All Faculty Members were close co-workers of the late Dr. Simonton for many years:

Mariusz Wirga, M.D., Medical Director of Psychosocial Oncology at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center who has over 25 years of experience in working with cancer patients and their families. In 2004, with his wife Aleksandra, they introduced the successful Beat the Odds® program at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Aleksandra Wirga, M.D., Board Certified psychiatrist and expert in cognitive-behavior therapy with over 20 year experience in psycho-oncology and mind-body medicine.

Erin Sommerville, Mind-Body Oncology Coach at Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, cancer survivor with over two decades of experience in mind-body medicine.

The benefits of the retreat include:

 Dr. Wirga and his staff are available to help all day every day for individual or family meetings
 Focus is on the process in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere
 Minimal distractions allow to assimilate new knowledge with little effort and enhanced focus on the healing work
 Ample time for personal attention to each participant
 Condensed learning experience (5 days instead of 10 weeks) allows the brain to form new associations and deepen insights with a profound healing effect
 As each participant offers own perspective allowing for enriched understanding of presented concepts
 A unique bond among participants results in healing and invigorating experience as well as sense if camaraderie
 Beauty and tranquility of surrounding nature promotes healing and peaceful contemplation

We help participants address religious, spiritual, existential or deeply philosophical dimensions of their lives but our approach is non-denominational. We draw from many religious, spiritual and philosophical traditions BUT PREACH NONE.

Schedule: Program starts Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 1 pm with registration and concludes at 12:30 pm on Friday, October 25th, 2013. We recommend that you arrive at least an hour early to allow yourself plenty of time for check in and registration.

The retreat is hosted at Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275, (310) 377-4867 Fax (310) 541-1176. While the place is rooted in Catholic faith, they invite people of all religions and traditions. Conscious effort is made to make everybody feel welcome. Please let us know how we could help you feel that way.


Room and Board:
Per Person/Double for 5 nights with 15 meals: $504.00 (2 people per room)

Per Person/Single for 5 nights with 15 meals: $656.00 (1 person per room)

All sessions (most insurance plans accepted) – please call for prior authorization.

We hope to be able to recover most of the therapy costs from your health insurance. Similarly when in 2004 we started the Beat the Odds weekly sessions, at that time it was novel for insurers but now it is reimbursed by most health plans.

To sign up or for info and insurance prior-authorization please call: 562 427 3897

Surviving Cancer One Healthy Thought at a Time!