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Support continues for families fighting cancer

Virtual Support Through Gilda’s Club Touches Lives


Special promotional content provided by Gilda’s Club.

Despite everything that’s happening today with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilda’s Club is continuing to actively serve people facing cancer virtually via ZOOM and has even been adding programs to meet their changing needs. With all the challenges associated with both the risk of COVID-19 infection and social distancing for those facing cancer, the programs offered by Gilda’s Club are more important now than ever.

Here is what Gilda’s Club is providing, at no charge as always, during this unprecedented time to ensure that no one faces cancer alone: 

  • Individual New Member Meetings – People who are living with cancer, their family members and friends, caregivers and bereaved, can talk one-to-one with a licensed mental health professional who will listen to their cancer experience, hear their needs and connect them to appropriate support groups (phone and/or video), community resources, online educational workshops and more.
  • Support Groups – Using ZOOM, a HIPPA-compliant online tool, Gilda’s Club is providing their regular weekly and monthly professionally-facilitated support groups via the web and phone.
  • Drop-In Support Groups – They are adding additional support groups via ZOOM to help meet the needs of members who are experiencing a temporary increase in stress related to cancer, treatment, and the world situation today.
  • Healthy Lifestyle – Relaxation and Guided Imagery is happening each week and they are offering two weekly yoga classes, also via ZOOM. 
  • Patient Advocacy – A Patient Advocate will virtually meet with individual members to help them navigate cancer-related challenges with insurance coverage, employer accommodations, and more.
  • Distress Screening – Members can participate in an online distress screening that will help Gilda’s Club staff identify and triage people who are at risk for illness-related psychosocial complications that may interfere with the ability to cope effectively with cancer, its physical symptoms and its treatment.
  • Open to Options™ – A licensed mental health professional will help anyone diagnosed with a new or recurrent cancer who is facing a treatment decision. The goal is to help the individual communicate clearly with his/her medical team, ask critical questions about treatment options and ensure that their decisions fit their personal hopes and goals. 
  • Social Media Programming – If you have not “liked” Gilda’s Club Madison on Facebook, please do so. Staff will be sharing important resources from all around our Affiliate Network.
  • Short-Term Counseling – A licensed health professional will meet with members to help them work through cancer-related challenges.
  • Social Activities – A weekly “coffee clutch” will be offered via ZOOM to allow members to connect with each other and talk about how their lives have changed in the last few weeks.
  • Online Resources – Patients and caregivers can visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org/coronavirus as a centralized place for resources related to the COVID-19 crisis. The site will be updated daily with the latest federal guidance, as well as blog posts that include tips for coping with isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty. They may also visit https://gildasclubmadison.org/COVID-19-Updates for updates on what resources are available at Gilda’s Club.

Gilda’s Club staff are actively connecting within their affiliate network through the Cancer Support Community in order to learn new information, share best practices and work toward optimizing virtual program delivery. They are also taking the opportunity to deep clean and sanitize the clubhouse so that it is safe for members to return after the all-clear is given. 

Do you know someone that is impacted by cancer that would benefit from emotional and social support? Please call 608-828-8880, visit www.gildasclubmadison.org, or email program staff directly at program@gildasclubmadison.org with questions and/or to learn more about how you can take advantage of these program offerings.

The goal, of course, is to return to regular programming at all locations as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, Gilda’s Club Madison continues to do the work we do best for the families that need us the most.