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FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Gilda’s Club. If your question is not answered below, please contact us.

What is Gilda’s Club?

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and the local affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, a network of 57 supportive, free and welcoming “clubhouses” where everyone living with cancer can come for social, emotional and psychological support. The Clubhouse, with its iconic red doors, is an essential element of the support program by providing a healing environment where individuals learn from each other with guidance from licensed professionals.

Where is Gilda’s Club Twin Cities located?

The clubhouse is located at 10560 Wayzata Blvd in Minnetonka, MN. This 7,300 square feet building is near I-394 and Hopkins Crossroad, close to public transportation and accessible to those throughout the Twin Cities metro area. map

Check our website frequently for exciting updates and announcements on the clubhouse’s development and opportunities to visit.

When did Gilda’s Club open in the Twin Cities?

We began accepting members in January 2014 and had our official ribbon cutting in April of that year. If you are interested in becoming a member, please click here to learn more.

What is the philosophy of Gilda’s Club?

Gilda’s Clubs provide social, emotional and psychological support for people living with cancer as well as their friends and families, as an essential complement to medical care. Fundamental to the Gilda’s Club philosophy is that membership is completely free of charge, and that the clubhouse environment is warm, welcoming, and non-institutional.

What is the role of the Cancer Support Community?

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities is part of the Cancer Support Community (CSC), an international non-profit dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer. Regarded as the largest employer of psychosocial oncology mental health professionals in the U.S., CSC offers personalized services and education for all people affected by cancer. Its global network brings the highest quality cancer support to millions, with support services available through a network of professionally led, community-based organizations such as Gilda’s Club.

The Cancer Support Community and its affiliates rely entirely on the philanthropic contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations to fulfill their missions. Gilda’s Club Twin Cities does not receive financial support from CSC and all donations raised by Gilda’s Club Twin Cities stay in the Twin Cities.

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What is the significance of the name “Gilda’s Club”?

Gilda’s Club is named in memory of comedian Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian cancer in 1989. Gilda is best known for her work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Her book, It’s Always Something, describes her life with cancer. Gilda once said that cancer gave her “membership to an elite club I’d rather not belong to,” which is where the name “Gilda’s Club” originated.

Who founded Gilda’s Club, when was it founded and is it modeled after any other program?

Gilda’s Club was founded in 1991 by Joanna Bull, Gilda Radner’s cancer psychotherapist, together with Gilda’s husband Gene Wilder, with the help of film critic Joel Siegel, actor/singer Mandy Patinkin and several of Gilda’s other friends. The first Gilda’s Club, including a worldwide training center, opened its signature red door inNew York Cityin 1995.

Joanna Bull was Gilda Radner’s psychotherapist during her cancer treatment. She was clinic director for the pioneering Center for the Healing Arts inLos Angeles, and later was part of The Wellness Community in Santa Monica and Redondo Beach,California. In addition to working in development and administration, she has trained and supervised therapists extensively and has worked with hundreds of people with cancer and their families on psychosocial issues related to cancer.

Gilda’s Club is a unique program that was created out of the multitude of experiences Joanna Bull encountered during her professional career. Joanna served as director of both The Wellness Community and the former Center for the Healing Arts, from which elements of the Gilda’s Club program are derived and evolved.

What kinds of activities take place at Gilda’s Club?

Men, women, children, friends and family meet to learn how to live with cancer, whatever the outcome. Support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events, as well as structured programs for children and teens, help members build their own unique and customized community of support.

Is Gilda’s Club just for women with ovarian cancer?

Even though Gilda Radner herself had ovarian cancer, Gilda’s Club is not just for women with ovarian cancer. It’s for men and women of all ages, as well as for teenagers and children. It’s for all people living with all types of cancer, and for their families and friends.

Are there any exceptions to accepting a person with a non-cancer diagnosis?

The mission of Gilda’s Club is to provide a support community for people who have cancer, their families, and their friends. It is not part of our mission to serve people with other diseases, however worthy they might be.

How can I join Gilda’s Club? Do I have to be referred by a medical facility?

Most people hear about Gilda’s Club through the media or by word-of-mouth from family, friends or co-workers. Referrals are made by physicians and health care professionals as well, but are not necessary to join.

Is there any charge for membership?

No, everything is absolutely free of charge to members.

How is Gilda’s Club funded?

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is 100% supported by private individuals, corporate sponsors, and foundations through financial and in-kind donations.

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities does not receive financial support from the Cancer Support Community, of which Gilda’s Club Twin Cities is an affiliate. All donations raised in the Twin Cities stay in the Twin Cities.

Does the medical community support Gilda’s Club?

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities has the support of the medical community and established a resource council of highly regarded medical practitioners in the Twin Cities. Click here for a complete listing of our Medical Resource Council members. If you’re interested in learning how to become a member of the Medical Resource Council, please contact us at info@gildasclubtwincities.org.

Is Gilda’s Club residential? What does a Gilda’s Club look like?

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities is non-residential. Our clubhouse is a warm and welcoming home-like atmosphere where members can relax and feel comfortable in a non-medical setting. Click here for a complete summary of you will find behind the red door of our Gilda’s Club.

Is there any pressure to “be positive” at Gilda’s Club?

Absolutely not. Gilda’s Club is based on respect for every person’s own method of living with cancer. We do take care to avoid words that convey or reinforce misconceptions about cancer.

Here are some examples of Gilda’s Club language:
People living with cancer
— NOT — Cancer victims

Learning to live with cancer

— NOT — Coping with cancer or facing a life-threatening illness

Regaining control & wellbeing
— NOT — Doing battle, struggling with cancer, or fighting for recovery

Opportunity to join with others and share experiences
— NOT — Being helpless or in need of help

Club members
— NOT — Clients

Living fully as one learns to live with cancer
— NOT — Improving one’s quality of life

A warm and welcoming clubhouse
— NOT — A safe haven

A place to express a full range of feelings
— NOT — A place to “stay positive”

How can I get involved today?

There are so many ways you can involved and help open the doors of Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, here are just a few:

  • Sign up for to be on the Mailing List
  • Sign up to be a Volunteer
  • Make a Donation
  • Be an individual or corporate Sponsor an event
  • Invite a representative from Gilda’s Club Twin Cities to speak at your place of work, place of worship or civic organization. Call us at 612-227-2147.

For more information, contact us at info@gildasclubtwincities.org

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