Who We Are
Welcome to Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, a free program of social and emotional support for anyone who is feeling the impact of cancer. Gilda´s Club is a place to find inspiration in a community atmosphere with others who are facing cancer.
The cancer support community at Gilda’s Club is here for you and for everyone in your life, from the moment the doctor confirms the diagnosis of cancer, through the entire journey, whatever the outcome.
Our mission is to ensure that all people impacted by any cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. Because no cancer care plan is complete without emotional and social support, our innovative programs of networking and support groups, education workshops and social activities are provided free of charge.
What will I find at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka?
Are you learning to live with the impact of cancer in your life? We hope you find that the welcoming, supportive environment at Gilda’s Club empowers, strengthens and sustains you.
The clubhouse looks and feels like a Muskoka lodge with big windows, comfy couches, and a kitchen open to the community room with a fireplace.
There are private spaces for support groups and quiet time, as well as a space for children called Noogieland.
Workshops and seminars are often held in the arts and crafts studio or the exercise studio.
When you first come through the red door you will likely be greeted by a trained volunteer who will introduce you to the clubhouse. You, your family members and friends will be offered a tour a complete description of the cancer support program. You will be invited to a new member meeting, and then will meet with a staff person to develop your Customized Membership Plan (CMP).
Why is Gilda’s Club here?
Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka exists for three reasons. First, it is here because many people today are discovering what Gilda Radner discovered when she was diagnosed with cancer in the 1980s: that while our medical system is good at diagnosing cancer, and treatments are improving all the time, the system is not yet very good at understanding the impact cancer has on the whole person, and everyone who cares about them. That is why there is now a network of more than 55 Gilda’s Club organizations in North America and around the world, each providing a unique community of support for people living with cancer.
The medical community treats cancer. The program of support at Gilda´s Club provides solace for your heart and soul… at no charge.
Second, the reason there is a Gilda’s Club in Barrie for people living in Simcoe, Muskoka and York Regions, is that a small group of committed, compassionate and determined people came together in 2003 to create this community. Thanks to their efforts, and to the larger team they recruited and encouraged, $3 million was raised to build and open the clubhouse, on Quarry Ridge Road in Barrie.
And finally, Gilda’s Club is here because the people of this region want it here. Gilda’s Club does not receive ongoing government funding, so every dollar required to keep this cancer support community open and available comes from individuals and businesses who see why it is so important.
What does the medical community think about Gilda’s Club?
We’ve got a great relationship with the Simcoe Muskoka Cancer Treatment Centre and we have partnered with them on projects that provide emotional and social support to people living with cancer. Gilda’s Club frequently invites health professionals working in the cancer field to lead seminars and workshops. Many doctors also recommend that their patients connect with the cancer support community at Gilda’s Club.
Our Medical Resource Council are advisors to our program development.
How can Gilda’s Club provide free membership in its cancer support community?
It is the generosity of businesses, individuals, organizations and service groups that help us keep our red door open and provide our program of cancer support. Gilda’s Club accepts donations of cash, securities, bequests and life insurance.
Though Gilda’s Club is an essential complement to medical care we do not receive funding from any level of government.
What is the Cancer Support Community?
Cancer Support Community International is the umbrella
organization for two networks of cancer support: Gilda’s Clubs and Cancer Support Community organizations.
CSC International provides high-quality, evidence-based psychological and social support through local affiliates in the US, Canada, the UK and Israel. CSC International is a leader in research into the impact of and need for emotional and social support for people living with cancer.
Gilda´s Club Simcoe Muskoka is an independent registered Canadian charity. In Canada, there are currently two other Gilda’s Clubs: one in Toronto and one in Kingston. A fourth group is working to establish a Gilda’s Club in Halifax.
Who Was Gilda?
Gilda’s Club grew from the dream of Gilda Radner, the comedian best known for her work on television’s Saturday Night Live. As she navigated her own journey with cancer, Gilda reclaimed her gift of laughter, learned new strategies for living with cancer and gained a feeling of control when she joined with others who also had cancer. Her vision was to create a community of hope and inspiration for people with cancer and their families and friends that would be free-of-charge. Read more about Gilda. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilda_Radner