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A Place for Kids and Teens

“When I met people with cancer, I would tell them that I had cancer too. I think it helped them feel better. But I wish that I had a place to go where I could just play like the other kids and people wouldn’t stare at me.”

— Noah, North Saint Paul, 9

The Resources to Help, the Space to Come Alive

Kids and teens living with cancer can feel confused, fearful and reluctant to express themselves. Gilda’s Club staff and volunteers understand the emotional vulnerability of children and teens living in a household where cancer is present and offer special programs to help. We help gather family and friends who can provide support and bring them together to concentrate on and explore emotional issues and dynamics.

Two special areas of the clubhouse, Noogieland® for kids and the Mixed Media/Teen Area for young adults, are designed to help young people act normal, have fun, feel less “different” and get the support they need. Noogieland is named after the playful “noogies” comedians Bill Murray and Gilda Radner shared in a recurring Saturday Night Live skit. It’s filled with toys, books, art supplies and more. The teen room has age-appropriate materials and quiet places to hang.

“When my brother got sick, it felt like our whole house got sick. I wasn’t just a kid anymore; I was the-sister-of-the-kid-with-cancer. I would have loved a place where I could go to just be.”

— Becca, North Saint Paul, 15

 

“When my little brother got sick I felt like I couldn’t go anywhere without people staring at us. I wanted a place to go where I didn’t have to explain his illness in full detail and all the time.”

— Joshua, North Saint Paul, 12