A Leader in Exercise Oncology, Dr. Karen Wonders Inspires Audiences to Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle that is Grounded in Faith, Food, and Fitness.


Karen Wonders, Ph.D., FACSM is the Founder and Director of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance®, and Professor of Exercise Physiology at Wright State University. 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 cancer survivors every week across the country.

Dr. Wonders is committed to evidence-based practice in her facilities, and has a robust research program that has numerous publications on the topic of exercise and cancer recovery.

A gifted communicator, Karen has given professional presentations on the national, state, and local levels, including a talk at TEDxDayton in 2017 on the topic of Exercising through Cancer Care.

Her inspirational journey of building Maple Tree Cancer Alliance® from a dream to a national leader in Exercise Oncology will touch hearts and change lives. Dr. Wonders is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of Exercise Oncology and is an expert on leadership. She will inspire your audience to trust God through pain and suffering, and give them the tools necessary to become the healthiest version of themselves!

Watch Dr. Wonders give a TED talk on Exercising Through Cancer Care.

Dr. Wonders can help your audience to:

  • Achieve your health-related goals
  • Design a healthy lifestyle that fits the rest of your life
  • Grow in your faith and see how God is working in your cancer journey
  • See food and fitness from a new perspective – God’s perspective!

Dr. Wonders’ Most Requested Speaking and Training Topics

Hire Dr. Wonders for keynotes, breakout sessions/workshops, and leadership incentive luncheons for your group. She is happy to tailor presentations and facilitate discussions that meet your group’s individual needs.

Dr. Wonders generously donates speaking fees to Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.

Exercising Through Cancer (Keynote)
In this presentation, Dr. Wonders will explain the benefits of exercising during a cancer diagnosis. She will also outline specific steps you can put into place today to embrace an active lifestyle!

Eat Well Through Cancer (Keynote)
Dr. Wonders will provide an engaging session for your group where they will gain the tools necessary to eat a plant-based diet during cancer recovery. Tips and tricks for clean eating will be shared!

Suffering (Keynote or breakout session)
Cancer is a stark reminder that this world doesn’t work as it should. God created humans to live forever in health, but sin has ruined this. We now live in a world where we are defined by our needs. Our bodies are not just weak, they are wasting away (1 Cor 15:42-44). We are subject to pain, sickness, and suffering. Cancer is just one of the ways this brokenness manifests. In the midst of suffering, it is normal to question the goodness of God. Dr. Wonders will talk through how suffering brings out the worst in us, showing us our weakness and striping us of our pride. In this humble state, we can clearly see our dependence on God. By recognizing this, we can lean on God to build us up in Him!

Cancer Basics (breakout session)
1 in every 2 men and 2 in every 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime. Learn the basics of cancer, including cancer classifications, staging, and common types of treatment. Study the common side effects you can expect while walking through a cancer journey.

Cancer Remission (breakout session)
Although remission from cancer often brings about feelings of relief, fear of cancer recurrence also leads to thoughts of uncertainty and anxiety. During cancer treatment, patients do many things to be proactive about their health. They have several doctor’s appointments each week, treatment schedules, and medications. However, during remission, doctor visits may be up to 6 months apart. Support systems tend to dissipate. The patient is left feeling alone and afraid. Dr. Wonders will highlight ways to alleviate this anxiety by giving you the tools you need to focus on all the things you do have control over – both with your thoughts and your actions!

Empowering Caregivers to Live with Cancer as a Chronic Disease (breakout session)
A caregiver is a very important part of the health care team. Since hospital stays tend to be shorter than they used to be, and people are living longer with cancer than ever before, caregivers are becoming an integral part of cancer recovery. Although rewarding, caregiving can result in feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Wonders will talk through these emotions and discuss ways to tangibly relieve caregiver stress.

Pediatric Cancer (breakout session)
Having a child diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most difficult situations a family can face. It is a stark reminder that this world does not operate in the way it should. Treatment tends to last much longer than adults and can shake the faith of the entire family. Questions like: If God is good, then why did my child get sick? If God is powerful, then why didn’t He stop the cancer from growing? loom in the foreground of your thoughts. Dr. Wonders will address these feelings and will provide tangible ways to manage these fears and trust God through the journey.

Terminal Cancer (break out session)
Everyone who is diagnosed with cancer hopes they will go into remission. They are praying for a miracle – for God to heal them completely. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, cancer has spread so much throughout the body that it no longer responds to treatment. The patient is left to face the fact that they will soon die. This can be a scary time for both the patient and their family and friends. Dr. Wonders will talk through end of life care communication and ways to support a loved one through this difficult time.


If you are interested in scheduling a speaking event with Dr. Karen Wonders, please submit the inquiry form below.