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“Care of the soul requires craft – skill, attention, and art. To live with a high degree of artfulness means to attend to the small things that keep the soul engaged in whatever we are doing, and it is the very heart of soul-making.” — Thomas Moore, Ph.D.

Gilda's Club Celebrates 14 Years of Supporting Cancer Survivors!

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Posted: Sun, Jun 7, 2009
By: Danielle Heard, MS, HHC
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Today is National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD). NCSD is held each year within the United States and Canada on the first Sunday, during the month of June. On this special day, many communities organize and hold events to help raise awareness of the growing number of cancer survivors as well as to help raise funds for organizations and support groups that are dedicated to assisting cancer survivors.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are over 11 million people within the United States that are considered to be cancer survivors. The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a cancer survivor as anyone living with a history of cancer from diagnosis through the remainder of life. However, when someone receives a diagnosis of cancer, it impacts everyone including family, friends and even co-workers. The Centers for Disease Control defines cancer survivors as individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and the people in their lives who are affected by the diagnosis, including family members, friends, and caregivers.  Approximately 66% of people diagnosed with cancer are estimated to live at least 5 years after receiving an initial diagnosis of cancer.

I would like to point out that in 2001 the number of people who were considered cancer survivors was 9.8 million. This number has significantly grown and reflects the ongoing rise of cancer rates in the United States. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there were 559,888 deaths attributed to cancer in 2006. One in every four people within the United States dies of cancer. The lifetime probability of American men developing cancer is one in two, and the lifetime probability of American women developing cancer is one in three. With statistics like these, there is no denying the great impact cancer has on our society. Almost everyone is in some way affected by cancer.

In addition to the physical affects of cancer and medical treatment, cancer patients have to confront severe emotional and psychological changes that have a substantial impact on their health and well-being. When people receive a diagnosis of cancer they often experience great fear. A 2006 national survey conducted by USA Today, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health, "The Survey of Households Affected by Cancer," noted the devastating impact cancer has on people which often extends beyond the individual patient to affect entire families. The impact can cause financial crisis, strained relationships, and physical and mental health issues for those who love and care for the person diagnosed with cancer.

Psychosocial and emotional support is a key component to helping people survive cancer. There are a few wonderful support communities that help people learn to live with cancer. Gilda's Club is one such support organization that was formed specifically to provide social and emotional support to people who are in some way affected by any type of cancer. Gilda's Club is a support community where men, women and children living with cancer and their families and friends can join with others in a nonresidential homelike environment to build emotional and social support as a free supplement to medical care. Gilda's Club enables people to share common bonds, identify with others, share wisdom and insight, gather information, learn skills, gain control of their lives, live life to its fullest and know that they do not have to face cancer alone. 

Gilda's Club was founded in memory of Gilda Radner, Emmy award-winning actress and comedienne, who died of ovarian cancer in May 1989, at the age of 42.

Remembering Gilda Radner:

While being treated for cancer, Gilda found support through the Wellness Community in Santa Monica, CA. Gilda said, " Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I'd rather not belong to." It was Gilda's dream to develop a support community on the East Coast once she was well. Gene Wilder, Gilda's husband, and her psychotherapist Joanna Bull brought Gilda's dream to life.

In 1991, Gilda's Club was founded by Gene Wilder and Joanna Bull. In June 1995, the first clubhouse opened in New York City at 195 W. Houston St. On September 15, 2005 this section of W. Houston St. was renamed Gilda Radner Way. 

The mission of Gilda's Club is to provide meeting places where men, women and children living with cancer and their families can join with others to build emotional and social support as a supplement to medical care. Free of change and nonprofit, Gilda's Club offers support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events in a nonresidential, homelike setting.

There are now 21 affiliate locations within the United States and Canada. Additional Gilda's Club affiliate locations are being developed but they each need support and funding to help them open their doors.

Anyone who is in some way affected by cancer can join as a member of this wonderful organization. The funding that each Gilda's Club affiliate receives from generous community donors, enables the clubs to provide licensed social workers, numerous lectures, support groups and classes such as art therapy, journal writing, meditation, yoga, and cooking as well as social activities such as pot luck dinners, joke fests, holiday parties and other social events FREE to its many members. If you would like to make a donation, volunteer your services or find a Gilda's Club near you, please see the various affiliate links below. 

Gilda's Club New York City is very dear to my heart. I have been a community volunteer there and know what hard work it takes to keep each clubhouse going. The people involved with the organization generally have each been in some way affected by cancer. Their personal experiences with cancer are what makes them work on into the night many tireless hours every day to do whatever is necessary to provide such a beautiful community so people will not have to deal with cancer alone.

Here is what some of the people that I have interviewed have said about Gilda's Club:

“They saved my life as I went through the experience of cancer with my husband. I can’t believe everything is free of charge."

“If I had cancer and I needed a place to feel welcome, I could turn to my black humor there. You could be real there. The best support group.”

“A door that was open a room that was available and I know of no other. It was the people in the room that made it happen. It’s the human environment. Gilda’s Club provided the oil for that to happen.”

“They really saved me and it is a wonderful organization.” 

In honor of all of our nation's cancer survivors, please support your local Gilda's Club.

Gilda's Club Celebrates 14 Years in June 2009!

On June 12, 2009, Gilda's Club New York City will celebrate its 14th birthday. It will be a fantastic party at the beautiful Manhattan clubhouse. If you are in New York City, stop by for drinks, dessert, entertainment and to view the clubhouse facility. Call 212.647.9700 to RSVP.


Gilda’s Club Locations:

Gilda's Club New York City

Manhattan Clubhouse

New York, NY 10014

Gilda's Club Desert Cities California

Cathedral City, CA 92234

Gilda's Club South Florida

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Gilda's Club Chicago

Chicago, IL 60610

Gilda's Club Quad Cities

Davenport, IA 52803

Gilda's Club Louisville

Louisville, KY 40204

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Gilda's Club Metro Detroit

Royal Oak, MI 48073

Gilda's Club Northern New Jersey

Hackensack, NJ 07601

Gilda's Club South Jersey

Somers Point, NJ 08873

Gilda's Club Capital Region New York

Latham, NY 12110

Gilda's Club Rochester New York

Rochester, NY 14607

Gilda's Club Westchester

White Plains, NY 10601

Gilda's Club Western New York

Buffalo, NY 14209

Gilda's Club Delaware Valley

Warminster, PA 18974

Gilda's Club Western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4722

Gilda's Club Nashville

Nashville, TN 37203

Gilda's Club North Texas

Dallas, TX 75219

Gilda's Club Seattle

Seattle, WA 98122

Gilda's Club Southeastern Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WI 53211

Gilda's Club Greater Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1M3

Future Gilda’s Clubs:

Gilda's Club Greater Washington

Washington, DC 20005

Gilda's Club Greater Atlanta

Atlanta, GA 30338

Gilda's Club Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN 55416

Gilda's Club Kansas City

Kansas City, MO 64108

Gilda's Club St. Louis

St. Louis, MO 63144

Gilda's Club Madison Wisconsin

Middleton, WI 53562

Gilda's Club Barrie Ontario

Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4M 5G1

Gilda's Club Southeastern Ontario

Ontario, Canada KOH 1VO

Thank you very much for reading my blog and please continue to visit often.

I wish you good health, happiness and love!



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Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | © 2008-2023 Artemis in the City, LLC. All rights reserved.
Email: info@artemisinthecity.com | Phone: 903-759-0172 | United States
Artemis in the City and logo and Food for the Untamed Soul are trademarks of Artemis in the City, LLC.