Mary Ishmael
Free To Live Now
Valhalla, NY

My Personal Experience
Audio Interview
Contacting Me
"Mary is an outstanding, articulate speaker on a variety of topics. She knows how to reach people – intimately and graciously. Few people in our culture have this unique gift..."
Gordon Chesy,
Scarsdale Library MS
Support Group


Mary Ishmael
Holistic Health Counselor

About Me
My desire to serve in the areas of cancer education and patient advocacy, guidance and support is fueled in large part by my experience as a long term breast cancer survivor who struggled with the many resource and support gaps which existed two decades ago when I was undergoing extensive treatment in Virginia. Study, as well as life and work experience since then, together with my lifelong use of ‘good ears, open mind and understanding heart’, make me a valuable resource. A compassionately woven thread of my life has been championing those in need by sharing my experience, knowledge and resources, always encouraging the inherent strength and courage I believe we all possess. My passion is to continue to guide, support and inspire from my heart, hoping in the process to awaken in others the knowledge that peace and comfort are always available in even the bleakest moment.

Having completed a course of study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, I take a holistic approach to life in general and personal wellbeing in particular, understanding that no amount of healthy foods will make us healthy if we’re not getting enough of what the Institute calls primary food – that is, regular physical activity, fulfilling work/career, healthy relationships, and a nurturing spiritual life. When those four ‘primary foods’ are all in balance, along with good nutrition, then we have a solid foundation for wellness and wholeness.

In addition to studying social work and women’s studies at Virginia’s George Mason University, my education, experience and perspective have been broadened in the past thirty years by participating in many personal development and wellness classes, workshops, seminars and retreats.

My personal experience of having lived with and survived breast cancer is, of course, a priceless credential in support of my work now with those touched by cancer. To broaden my knowledge, understanding, and skills in that work, I completed training for Navigation in Integrative Cancer Care developed by Smith Farm Center for Healing and The Arts in Washington, D.C. This very innovative ‘cancer navigation’ training encompassed many subject areas from basics like ‘Oncology 101’ to ‘End-of-Life’ issues, and many other valuable topics in between.

Those experiences and studies, as well as earlier mediation training, direct interaction with clients as a paralegal and in other public-oriented positions, speaking before large and small groups, and facilitating breast cancer support groups, have all strengthened my compassion and ability to relate to others, as well as given me valuable life skills, knowledge and tools to share. I wholeheartedly invest my energy, intuition, and wisdom in understanding the needs of others, with the humble intention of not only helping but also honoring and being fully present to them.


All un-attributed content on this web site is the property of Mary Ishmael. No material on this site may be reproduced without the express written consent of Mary Ishmael. All rights reserved. 

Unless otherwise specified, any information and/or opinions herein are provided in good faith as materially accurate but should not be relied upon without independent verification by the reader. The material in this web site is intended to be informational only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult appropriate licensed healthcare professionals regarding any acute, chronic or other health condition.

© 2009