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The mission of Gilda’s Club Chicago is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.
We serve men, women, teens and children along with their families and friends. The Club’s philosophy is that a diagnosis of cancer brings with it potential for insight and compassion that can be tapped and shared with others to the benefit of all, so that no one faces cancer alone.
Gilda's Club Chicago addresses this problem directly by providing psychosocial programming that offers support, education, healthy lifestyle programs, resource referrals and social opportunities. The program is designed to empower members by providing greater social connection, an increased sense of control, greater hope and meaning, and improved communication with their healthcare team. All enhance the members’ health and wellbeing.
Gilda’s Club Chicago is an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, a network of nearly 50 local affiliates that provides high-quality psychological and social support. Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes emotional and social support, Gilda’s Club Chicago delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services. Some may wonder what cooking demonstrations, yoga classes and pottery workshops have to do with cancer. The answer is a reflection of the Club’s philosophy. When individuals touched by cancer come together based on their interests, they connect. In this community setting, conversations turn to shared experiences about cancer - from family interactions to concerns as parents. They share their experiences about working with doctors and their knowledge from their own diagnosis. They learn from each other and they support each other in a way that only someone having been through similar experiences can fully understand.
In a typical month, Gilda's Club Chicago hosts more than 350 separate activities. Last year, the organization hosted more than 11,000 visits at the main Club and at satellites at Mt. Sinai, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and University of Chicago Medicine.
- Samantha Rowland
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