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Rosie takes the subway for a 45-minute ride to visit Gilda’s Club every week for two hours to attend her weekly support group. Occasionally, she will visit more often, to hear an informative lecture – perhaps on the topic of pain management – or attend one of the monthly groups on “Living with Metastatic Cancer” – or even a workshop, like “Letting Go Through Laughter Yoga.” But ultimately, it’s the two hours she spends every week with her support group – people diagnosed with cancer – that means the most to her. It’s in this room that she receives the support she needs to help her through the uncertainties of living with cancer.
Rosie’s group meets in one of our four welcoming but well-worn rooms complete with dim lighting, tired carpets and a mishmosh of chairs and seating, located on the second floor of our Clubhouse. These rooms host 24 weekly support groups where as many as 12 people meet for two hours to share and learn from each other. They are people like Rosie, living with a cancer diagnosis; or caregivers struggling with their own concerns in the room next door; or in yet another room, people who are grieving the death of a loved one to cancer. They come every week to sit on a chair, or couch, just like Rosie. And although it’s only a chair to you or me, it is the chair she sits on every week and shares her anger, her happiness, her grief, and yes her laughter for two hours with others living with cancer. And together, they learn to live with cancer … whatever the outcome.
For more than 20 years, the second floor of Gilda’s Club has been the location of our four support group rooms and library, where thousands of cancer patients and their families have come to meet with their support groups or attend healthy living workshops. These rooms, while welcoming, have grown tired and well worn.
This spring, an anonymous donor surprised us with a Challenge Grant which will match every dollar you give through the end of June (up to a total of $50,000!) to update our support group rooms – including new flooring, paint, and furniture.
Your participation will make a visible difference for our members. Please join our efforts to renew our group rooms and create a new welcoming, warm, and comfortable environment for members like Rosie.