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For people learning to live with cancer, the feeling of emotional distress can be hard to bear. Maybe you have seen this with someone you care about.  Members of Gilda's Club Simcoe Muskoka what that feels like. Every member of Gilda's Club has felt the impact of cancer. They've also felt the power of the emotional and social support they find in the cancer support community at Gilda's Club. Here they find the information, companionship and emotional support they need to make it through their cancer journey, whatever the destination.

Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka Earns “Affiliate of Distinction” rating from Cancer Support Community International


Barrie ON–  Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka has received the highest rating from the international organization Cancer Support Community.


A standards review team from Cancer Support Community’s international headquarters, located in Washington, DC, rated Gilda’s Club “An Affiliate of Distinction.”  A team from Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka accepted the award in Washington and unveiled it at the Clubhouse yesterday.


Jay Lockaby, Senior Vice President Affiliate Relations and Sara Goldberger, Senior Director of Program at Cancer Support Community International Headquarters, completed an exhaustive review of all aspects of the organization. In awarding this rating to Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, Lockaby and Goldberger said “Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka is extraordinary in its quality and serves as a role model for other affiliates of the Cancer Support Community.”


“This is such a powerful endorsement of our program,” said Deborah Loosemore, Managing Director. “Gilda’s Club has focused on providing excellence since opening its red door in 2010,” she said.

Gilda’s Club sees on average 1,000 visits a month and provides a community of support for anyone who is living with cancer. More than 860 people have registered as members and about 20% of members are under 18.

Loosemore noted that two other affiliated organizations received this rating in 2013, and both had been in existence for more than 15 years. She says the fact that Gilda’s Club SM achieved this standard in just three years is due to the leadership of the Board of Directors, the hard work by hundreds of volunteers over the years, and the financial support from the community.  “We believe we have no choice but to aim for the highest standards,” says Loosemore. “The members of Gilda’s Club, who are men, women and children who need emotional and social support to live with cancer, deserve excellence.”  The program at Gilda’s Club is offered free of charge to everyone who needs it, thanks to the generosity of people and businesses in the region.


For everyone who joins Gilda’s Club, living with the impact of cancer is more manageable because they can rely on the emotional and social support they find at Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka. People who have been diagnosed with cancer, at whatever age, and their family and friends, can be part of Gilda’s Club for emotional and social support. Since opening its signature red door three years ago, membership in this unique cancer support community has grown by 50% each year. Gilda’s Club does not receive any government funding so donations and other public support are vital.  It costs about $860,000 a year to keep Gilda’s Club open for everyone in Simcoe, Muskoka, Grey-Bruce and Dufferin Counties, and Parry Sound and area.

“The warm welcome  we found at Gilda’s Club at a time of such fear and uncertainty has made all the difference in helping us cope. I’m so reassured knowing that we are in such good hands” – Gilda’s Club Member

Kristen Dawson, Program Director; Deborah Loosemore, Managing Director; Jay Lockaby, SR VP CSC International; Patricia Gilbert, Founding President; Brenda Pinder-Parsons, Chair

Kristen Dawson, Program Director; Deborah Loosemore, Managing Director; Jay Lockaby, SR VP CSC International; Patricia Gilbert, Founding President; Brenda Pinder-Parsons, Chair