Joel Waltzer is proof that you can turn the toughest of times into a powerful beacon of hope that extends further than one could imagine. In 2013, his wife, Jane, was battling breast cancer. An avid yoga practitioner, Waltzer created a grassroots yoga fundraiser to benefit the Cancer Alliance of Naples. JaneCAN was born out of these efforts, and even after Jane’s passing in 2016, the annual YogaCAN event carries on her legacy. In its five-year history, YogaCAN has raised more than $250,000. Through his struggles, Waltzer, a board-certified dermatologist, has found strength in being vulnerable. “During my yoga teacher training, I became present to the idea that I did not need to put on a front that ‘all is well,’” he says. “At times, life can be extremely difficult, and it’s okay to feel that and share that.” Now, he’s focusing on navigating life as a single parent to three daughters and searching for more ways to be of service to those in need.
Hidden talent: Skateboarding Bucket-list trip: Doing service work in Africa.
Would love to play golf with: Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time. He’s a devoted family man who excelled professionally, and a noted philanthropist.
His perfect day: Exercise on a Peloton, teach yoga at Practice Yoga Naples, golf at Calusa Pines with my buddies, and end it with a sunset beach walk and dinner with my daughters.
Favorite Naples pastime: Clam Pass Park paddleboarding
Fact few people know about him: I cry watching figure skating.
Words to live by: Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today a gift.
Local hangouts: Kunjani Craft Coffee and Taco Ardiente
Can’t live without: Sunshine and my daughters’ smiles.