Frequently Asked Questions

About our Cancer Support Program

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To get involved in the services offered through our Cancer Support Program, you must complete Membership. Membership is absolutely free, and is available to those experiencing cancer-related stress or distress. To book your Membership Meeting, call 705-726-5199 or e-mail program@gildasclubsm.org. Membership Meetings are currently held over the phone due to COVID-19, must be booked in advance, and take approximately 20-40 minutes.

Membership, and all of our services, are completely free of charge!

Yes! We offer a wide variety of virtual services, with limited in-person services as well.

No. There are many ways to get involved and experience social and emotional support within our community setting, including social activities, healthy lifestyle activities, and educational workshops. Check out our calendar to see our current cancer support services.

You can expect to meet and find support from others who have similar lived experiences. Although all cancer journeys are unique, we find that unless you’ve been there, you don’t always get it. Support Groups are a place to have your feelings validated, learn from the wisdom of others, and find comfort and growth. To see our full Support & Networking Group Guidelines, click HERE.

No; our Cancer Support Program is offered to anyone impacted by any type of cancer diagnosis at any point in their cancer experience; diagnosis through survivorship. This includes individuals living with cancer, their caregivers, individuals who are post-treatment, and individuals who have lost someone to cancer. As part of the Gilda’s Club community, there are always opportunities to give and get support from someone who understands.

Some of our Educational Workshops may be available to the “public”; otherwise, we ask those who are seeking our cancer support services to register for Membership.

No! Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka is folks who are impacted by cancer of all ages and genders, identifies and backgrounds- including adults, teenagers, and children.

In order to remain focused on our mission of providing cancer support, we welcome those who have been diagnosed with cancer, those who have a friend or family member who has been diagnosed, or those who have lost someone to cancer.

All Facilitators at Gilda’s Club are registered Mental Health Professionals with a Master’s or PhD degree in social work, psychology, counselling or equivalent. This means that they are legally obligated to keep everything you say confidential; they cannot tell your partner what you talked about in group for example, or let others know that you are in a Support Group at Gilda’s. There are 3 exceptions: If you mention any intention of hurting yourself or somebody else; If you mention that a minor (someone aged 17 and under) is at any type of risk of harm; And where required by law In these cases, your Facilitator is legally and professionally obligated to report only the relevant information to the appropriate legal authority.

Although your fellow Members are not legally required to maintain confidentiality the way that your facilitator is, we ask that all Members respect the privacy of others in their Support Groups. This includes not sharing who was present in your group with others outside of the group, and not sharing stories told by other Members with those outside of the group if they contain any personal and/or identifying information.

We encourage all Members to “come as they are,” and we honour the full breadth of emotions, reactions, and realities folks experience when they are impacted by cancer. Although laughter can almost always be guaranteed, we speak openly and encourage conversations about all aspects of cancer – including sadness, grief, anger, and frustration. At Gilda’s Club, we believe that hope can flourish while still honouring authentic feelings and emotions.

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka offers short-term individual counselling to help bridge the gap in your unique cancer support needs, including Grief Counselling for those who have had a family member or friend die from cancer. Please note that we give priority to those who are unable to access counselling through the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre.

Our Child Youth & Family services cater to children and teenagers who are impacted by cancer- whether they have the diagnosis themselves, have a friend or family member living with cancer, or have had a friend or family member die from cancer. We offer individual services, support groups, supportive recreational activities, family socials, educational workshops, and more!

Named after the Noogies that Gilda used to receive on “Saturday Night Live,” “Noogieland” is a special room in the Clubhouse where kids can be kids, connect with other children and families, and see that they are not alone. This room provides an age-appropriate, fun and supportive space for children to learn more about cancer, process their emotions related to cancer, and connect with others their age who “get it”.

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka is a registered not-for-profit charity, and is 100% privately funded with support from generous corporations, foundations, and individual donors. Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka also hosts several fundraising events throughout the year and is fortunate to have individuals and organizations host their own events which benefit GCC. These events provide both financial support and serve to increase awareness of Gilda’s Club free program so that no one faces cancer alone. Gilda’s Club is grateful for those who include Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka in their estate planning or make gifts in honor or memory of a loved one.

We are always looking for warm, friendly individuals to volunteer. Our volunteer opportunities include working the front desk, helping with lectures and workshops, community outreach, working with children and teens and much more! To become a volunteer, apply now at WEBSITE LINK or contact us at admin@gildasclubsm.org or call 705-726-5199.

There are a variety of other ways you can help support Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka and people impacted by cancer including volunteering, referring a friend and participating in an endurance event (running, cycling, swimming) as part of Team Gilda. Donations from individuals, businesses, foundations and special events allow our programming to remain free of charge for anyone impacted by cancer.

Gilda’s Club does not provide or sell any products such as wigs or medical supplies, nor do we accept donations of these types.

Gilda’s Club does not provide medical advice or medical referrals of any kind, but we do provide educational lectures and workshops that empower you with relevant information.

Just contact us, and we’ll get back to you!

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