Each year in our region, cancer touches thousands of men, women and children. Its impact can be devastating to the individual and their family. But at Gilda’s Club, individuals and families are receiving the information, guidance, laughter, and most importantly, the support they need to live their lives with cancer, whatever the outcome, at no cost.
With more than 16,000 individuals throughout South Jersey diagnosed with cancer each year, Gilda’s Club South Jersey (GCSJ) is the only cancer support community in southern New Jersey offering a free, comprehensive program of psychosocial support including educational lectures, workshops, social activities, and support groups to men, women, teens and children impacted by cancer. Age is the number one risk factor for cancer. As the baby boomer generation ages, the number of individuals in our community diagnosed with cancer is growing.
One of nearly 50 affiliates of the Cancer Support Community, GCSJ offers comprehensive educational, psychological and social support to people living with cancer and their loved ones as an integral part of conventional medical treatment.
Why provide psychosocial support? Research shows that people who are impacted by cancer and receive psychosocial support have a 56% increase in quality of life and survival rates. Participation in a comprehensive program of support reduces depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation and reduces the chance of recurrence by nearly 50%. Participation in Gilda’s Club programs directly benefits the men, women, and children touched by cancer in our community.
Each month GCSJ provides educational workshops and lectures, networking and support groups, as well as plenty of social activities. Support groups bring members together to learn from each other and are facilitated by licensed mental health professionals. Networking groups allow individuals to share common issues and exchange practical information. Workshops are experiential activities ranging from yoga and Pilates to quilting and healthy cooking classes. Education is an important part of the Gilda’s Program, and every month local healthcare professionals speak about topics of interest such as pain management, “Ask the Doctor” lecture series, and the newest cancer information. Social activities like potluck suppers and movie nights are a way for members to come together - relax, socialize and enjoy an evening out. And everything is free of charge to members!