Patients battling cancer find support through Gilda’s Club

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Helping survivors re-adapt to life after cancer is a key objective of Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities.

Local survivors shared stories of their own battles with cancer and how Gilda’s Club has been there throughout the journey.

If you are interested in donating, you are encouraged to visit the Gilda's Club website – click here.

There were nearly 13.7 million cancer survivors in the U.S. in 2012, according to the American Cancer Society.

Donations made to Gilda’s Club help some of those millions of people to transition back into their lives. Thanks to donations from the community, Gilda’s has been able to expand west to reach the Muscatine area.

“I think Gilda’s Club has always done survivorship because there really is no limit for their patients,” said Sally Werner with the Genesis Health System. “I know the patients come back long term to support other patients. They want to give back, it’s therapeutic for them and I think that’s pretty unique.”

Thanks to the many votes of residents, the Gilda’s Club Kitchen won $10,000 from an online contest held by Tom’s of Maine. Gilda’s will be using that prize to help its members eat healthier by offering workshops on sustainability, cooking, and canning.

Survivors aren’t a cookie cutter mold. They can be young or old and everywhere in between, but many say Gilda’s Club has been a support system and a source of camaraderie for them.

“I can’t imagine what it would have been like without the help and support of the people who work here sometimes,” said Bill Telle, whose wife had cancer. “They’re referred to as staff; to me they’re family, everybody who works here, and I just really can’t imagine how different that journey would have been without Gilda’s.”

Click here to hear a series of poems written by Telle depicting the battle with cancer.

A fundraising event for Gilda's Club brought best-selling author Nicholas Sparks to the Quad Cities. News 8's Denise Hnytka sat down with Sparks to talk about his connection to those battling cancer.