Mission Statement TheCancer Support Community of Philadelphia is dedicated to providing, at no cost to members, a
comprehensive and professional program of emotional
support and education designed to enhance the mind,
body, and spirit of people whose lives have
been impacted by cancer.
Bob Brockman first encountered Nia (Neuromuscular Integrative Action) after taking a class in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He took to it immediately. He enjoyed the vitality of its movements, the music and the fellowship that accompanied Nia classes.
Bob was a man who lived with multiple sclerosis and cancer. Nia offered a way for him to move as best as he could. He found that the exercise nourished his body and his soul through the opportunity for personal expression.
"I saw that at times to get down to the floor or get up, I could use a chair or a stool. Doing it my way was acceptable," Bob said. "My response to my medical condition is to keep going and Nia makes it easy to do."
From Architecture to Dance
Bob grew up in New York City and graduated from Columbia University in 1957, where he rowed crew and was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Literary Fraternity. After college, he practiced field archaeology where he surveyed, sketched and excavated for the National Park Service in Texas and for the Smithsonian Institution in New Mexico and South Dakota.
He went on to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed commercial and residential projects in the Philadelphia region, Atlantic City, New Jersey, as well as in Africa, Canada and Europe.
Bob enjoyed the outdoors and spent vacations camping and hiking in the national parks with his family. His experience trail walking in the wilderness of Maine, Montana and New Mexico were part of what brought him to Nia.
An Advocate for Nia
As Bob's Nia practice deepened, so too did his desire to introduce the benefits of Nia to others coping with M.S. and cancer. He became an advocate for Nia in the Phladelphia area. Using his Nia network, he found a first-class Nia instructor, Suzanne O'Grady, connected her with Bryn Mawr Hospital's cancer support group, and his efforts led to the start of a Nia class at the hospital.
But he didn't stop there. He then introduced Suzanne to the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia, where people with cancer and their loved ones can attend exercise classes. What started as a four-week Nia series in 2011 has now blossomed into regularly scheduled classes held on Tuesdays from 5:15 - 6:15 PM and the second Saturday of every month from 11:00 AM - 12:00 Noon.
The Bob Brockman Nia Fund
The Brockman family has endowed the Bob Brockman Nia Fund in Bob's memory. The goal of the fund is to ensure that Nia classes remain a permanent fixture at the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia. The gift will provide funding for several Bob Brockman Nia Workshops each year. They will focus on sharing the practice of Nia with newcomers and medical practitioners through demonstrating its movement techniques and studying Nia's benefits for patients. The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia will also host an annual Bob Brockman Nia Jam to raise awareness and additional funds for the Nia program here.
Click here for photos from the Bob Brockman Nia Jam 2012.
Please help keep the Nia program going at the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia by contributing to the fund here and selecting "Bob Brockman Nia Fund" in the box.
In a 2005 interview with The Santa Fe New Mexican about his Nia practice, Bob said: "It is a very significant part of my life, to keep me going, to help with my own healing process and to add a sense of joy to my life."
Learn more by calling 215-879-7733 and ask for Susan Pursch.
Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia
The Suzanne Morgan Center at Ridgeland
4100 Chamounix Drive
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131
(215) 879-7733 ~ (888) 819-3553
Fax: (215) 879-6575 firstname.lastname@example.org