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“The focus is less on cancer, more about having fun and just being a kid”

Three of our campers from week 1 doing arts and crafts!

Three of our campers from week 1 doing arts and crafts!

Noogieland is running Camp KIDS for two weeklong sessions this summer thanks to the generous sponsorship of the eBay Foundation. The first week of camp was held last Monday through Friday. After taking a break from camp this week to celebrate the 4th of July, we will start fresh with the second week of camp on July 8.

At Camp KIDS, kids ages 4-12 are treated to a much needed break from the cancer in their lives through activities and fun provided all day long. There are arts, crafts, scavenger hunts, and each day at camp presents a different theme for the campers. The themes include 4th of July, Luau, Ancient Egypt Day, Star Wars, Crazy Wacky Day, and the “Camp KIDS Got Talent” Talent Show to end the week.

Go Bananas Frozen Yogurt will visit camp both weeks to discuss healthy food and provide smoothies to the campers and East West Karate will be coming out for the second week of camp. The campers are provided with two snacks and a meal each day. They will also create their own cookbooks with healthy meal options to take home. Best of all, Camp KIDS is free!

Thank you so much to Noogieland’s sponsors, the Alex Boyes Fund, Foundations Community Partnership, and generous individual donors, who help us make Noogieland and Camp KIDS possible.

Many cancer patients are faced with an overwhelming number of difficult decisions and unanswered questions when they first receive their diagnosis. Trying to prepare for an upcoming doctor’s appointment commonly leaves patients and their loved ones anxious and unsure of the best way to approach their appointment. To help reduce the anxiety of an upcoming doctor’s appointment, Gilda’s Club now offers Open to Options, a free decision support counseling program.

Patients meet with a trained Open to Options Specialist either in person or by telephone. During the session patients are encouraged to say whatever is on their mind. Most describe their situation, their options, their worries and fears, and all of their unanswered questions. All that is required of the patient during the session is that they talk. The Open to Options Specialist will take notes during the session and then organize the notes into a one page, typed list of the patient’s questions that can be taken to their doctor’s appointment.

Patients who participated in Open to Options were given a survey before their Open to Options session and at various points following their session. Data from the surveys suggest that the Open to Options program helps reduce feelings of anxiety leading up to a doctor’s appointment and at the actual appointment. Patient’s feelings that they asked the right questions and got the most from their appointment increased as well. Physicians that were surveyed responded that they also felt the Open to Options program helped create more effective appointments.

If you, a family member, or a friend has been diagnosed with cancer and are facing an upcoming doctor’s appointment we encourage you to consider and share the word about Open to Options.  Please visit our website for more information.

 

Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley: How did you get involved with Gilda’s Club?

Adele Gill: I heard about Gilda’s Club through the family of a friend of mine who had ovarian cancer. When she passed away, after several years of treatment, I felt privileged to participate in the Dog Walk at Core Creek Park with her dog, in her honor.  I was so surprised by how well organized the event was, how large the crowd was, and that every single person was smiling, laughing and enjoying the day.  I knew then, that when I was able to volunteer, it was going to be at Gilda’s.  When the time came it was as easy as going online, leaving my name and number and waiting to be contacted.  It didn’t matter what for, but it just so happened to be the Dog Walk event at WarminsterPark.  Beth Starrantino (now my supervisor) was my contact.  After that event, I became an in-house volunteer at the reception desk entering data and enjoying the new friends I was making.

GCDV: What is your favorite Gilda’s Club memory?

AG: My favorite memory is of my first Dog Walk event.

GCDV: What are you most proud of at Gilda’s Club?

AG: The immense amount of teamwork that goes into producing fundraising events. When staff members and our growing number of wonderful volunteers pitch in together, it is easy to see how things run so smoothly.  It’s that hard work that produces a wonderful feeling of joy and satisfaction.

GCDV: What is your favorite event at Gilda’s Club?

AG: Again, I would definitely have to say the Dog Walk.

GCDV: In a few words, describe what Gilda’s Club means to you.

AG: To me, Gilda’s Club equals love, social and emotional support, education, and hope. It also means fun, companionship, laughter and shared tears.

GCDV: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

AG: It would be to cure any illness.

GCDV: What is your favorite book?

AG: “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams

GCDV: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

AG: I would go to Europe.  I fell in love with the architecture in London and it made me want to travel.

GCDV: If you could choose just five things to have with you on a deserted island, what would they be?

AG: I would choose to have a water purification kit, a fully equipped toolbox, a “How to Survive on a Desert Island” guidebook, a first aid kit, and a solar battery powered flashlight.

GCDV: If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

AG: I would secure my family, help out my friends, make donations, and buy the clubhouse and donate it to Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley.

 

Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley celebrated 10 years of providing free social and emotional cancer support to the community on Saturday, June 15. The “Taste of the Town” 10th Anniversary Party was held at Gilda’s clubhouse. We had a great turnout, around 150 guests attended the event!

The “Taste of the Town” Party featured food donated by local restaurants, as well as free music and entertainment by Absolute Music School and Bob T & Smilin Ed. The first 40 people on site had the privilege of attending a wonderful cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Tony Clark (executive chef at the Valley Forge Casino and Resort). The best part was our guests from the community got to enjoy everything at the party for free!

Thank you so much to everyone in the community who came out on Saturday and helped us celebrate all that Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley has accomplished to support individuals living with cancer and their family and friends over the years. Here’s to the next 10 years!

A special thank you goes out to all our generous donors:

Bonnet Lane

Desserts By Design

Outback Steakhouse

The VE Club

Soprano’s Pizzeria

Heavenly Hams

None Such Farm

SuperValue Beverage

Costco

Wegmans

McCaffrey’s

Rilling’s Bakery

Chef de Cuisine at RG Ann’s Choice

Mother’s Cheesecakes

Applebee’s

Starbucks

KC Prime

Yardley Inn

The Vault

Maggio’s

Taormina’s Pizza and Pasta of Ivyland

Tony’s Place Bar and Grille

Mike’s York Street Bar and Grill

King of Tarts Bakery

Menchies

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Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley hosted our  15th Annual Golf Tournament on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at Commonwealth National Golf Club in Horsham, PA.

The event featured a day full of golf, food, raffle prizes, and celebrity guests Bernie Parent, Adam Taliaferro, Merrill Reese, and Paul Jolovitz. We are pleased to announce that this year’s golf tournament was able to raise more than $60,000 to support Gilda’s ClubDelawareValley and ensure that our community continues to have free access to the social and emotional support the club provides.

Thank  you to all of our board members, volunteers and event committee; the success of the event is a reflection of all of your time and effort! Also, a special thank you to all of the generous sponsors:

Bachmann Trains

Cowhey Family ShopRite of Warminster

Crowe Horwath

Caddick Construction

Charon Planning

St. Mary Medical Center

Sabre Systems

Braverman Kaskey

Meyer-Chatfield

American Office Systems

Keystone Motors

Our tee sponsors are:

Astro-Dynamic

The KennethPetersCenter

First National Bank

The Farnin Family

Univest

Skeletal Solutions

Medi-tech International

The Selzer Company

Roddy, Inc.

Lincoln Investment

MedAssets

We are excited to introduce a new offering from our “Noogieland” program for children and teens! “Living with Loss” is a bereavement program for middle schoolers. It will take place the first Tuesday of each month. (Please register at least 48 hours in advance.)

“Our goal with this new program is to give our young teens the opportunity to talk to other teens who have lost someone special in their life to cancer,” Christina Wise, Gilda’s Club’s Children & Teen Coordinator, explains. “We designed this program to assist teens in expressing their thoughts and feelings and to provide them with a supportive atmosphere so they may feel more comfortable discussing such a terrible time in their life.” 

Christina points out that, at this age, middle school students “are experiencing many changes in their lives, including more responsibilities and freedom both at home and at school, and now a loss of someone they love to cancer.” 

“This group is here to help them feel validated with their many feelings.  The most powerful way is to talk to others experiencing a similar situation. ” Christina says. “Many kids and teens who have lost a loved one to cancer feel a sense of loneliness, anger, sadness, and confusion, and the programs at Noogieland can help provide a release for these emotions.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Gilda’s Club and our Noogieland program for children and teens – or if you’d like to sign up for any of our programs – please call the clubhouse at 215-441-3290 or e-mail info@gildasclubdelval.org. For more information about Noogieland and its programs contact Christina Wise at Christina@gildasclubdelval.org.

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and encouraging its prevention, detection, and treatment. This year, the focus for World Cancer Day is dispelling the many myths and misconceptions about cancer in the world.

At Gilda’s Club, we’re focusing on busting two myths we see every day. They are:

  • “Because I’m not the one with the actual cancer diagnosis, I don’t need support,” and
  • “No one can understand what I am going through.”

These are common misconceptions for people living with cancer in their family, and Gilda’s Club is here and can help!

“Cancer is a family disease, and not only affects the person in treatment but affects everyone in the family,” Kelly Harris, Gilda’s Club’s CEO, explains. “We design our programs to make sure that not only the person with the diagnosis has support, but everyone in the family does as well.”

“One of our offerings at both our St. Mary and Doylestown Hospital satellite locations include the ‘My Spouse has Cancer Support Group.’ A program like this allows spouses to discuss what they’re going through with others who are experiencing similar situations. And, of course, our Noogieland program at our Warminster location provides many programs that offer support and education for children and teens who have cancer, or have cancer in their family.”

At Gilda’s Club, everyone has experienced cancer in some way in their life, which dispels our second myth. No one is alone; whatever you’re going through, someone has experienced something similar, understands, and can offer support.

In fact, in Gilda’s Club’s annual survey of its members, we constantly hear that the most beneficial aspect of coming to Gilda’s is that there is always an opportunity to talk to people who are going through – or have gone through – the same experience.

“To be able to see people make that connection makes me realize how important the work we do here at Gilda’s Club is,” Kelly says.

Gilda’s Club welcomes new visitors each day to join and attend the programs offered and make connections with others with similar experiences. To sign up to take part, please call the clubhouse at 215.441.3290 or e-mail info@gildasclubdelval.org.