Karen Wonders, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, and Professor of Exercise Physiology at Wright State University, where she serves as Program Director for the Sports Science major. She began her work in the field of exercise and cancer recovery in 2003, while earning her doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado. Here, she became certified as a Clinical Cancer Exercise Specialist and had the opportunity to witness, first hand, the positive impact exercise had in the life of someone battling cancer. Thus, her passion is to advocate for exercise as part of the standard of care for cancer.
Maple Tree provides free exercise training, nutrition counseling, and emotional support to hundreds of cancer survivors every month at several locations across Ohio. Dr. Wonders was recently recognized for her work by the Dayton Business Journal “Forty under 40” award. In addition, Maple Tree has been awarded “Best in Dayton” for Health and Fitness four years in a row. Dr. Wonders is committed to evidence-based practice in her facilities, and has a robust research program that has published two text books, four book chapters, and more than 30 peer reviewed manuscripts on the topic of exercise and cancer recovery.
Dr. Wonders is also in her final year of course work at Cedarville University, studying in their Master’s of Ministry program. She hopes to use this degree to bridge the gap between the medical field and churches, to provide hope and Christ-centered support to cancer patients. She is author of the devotional, Beauty from Ashes, which speaks hope into the world of cancer and encourages readers to embrace a healthy lifestyle as part of their cancer recovery.
A gifted communicator, Dr. Wonders has given more than 100 professional presentations on the national, state, and local levels, including a talk at TEDxDayton 2017 on Exercising through Cancer Care. Dr. Wonders is married to her college sweetheart, Andrew, and together they have seven (yes, seven!) children. If you think her hands are full, you should see her heart!
Topics: Compassion Fatigue; Complementary Therapies; Health & Online/Social Media; Nutrition; Pain & Palliative Care; Spirituality; Stress Management; Survivorship Care Planning; and Work & Cancer.