Gilda’s Club & The Power of Language
Another terrific resource for anyone dealing with breast cancer: Gilda's Club, a network of organizations that provide emotional and social support, named in honor of comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Their Clubhouses (with 28 locations across the continent) offer workshops, support groups, and social events in comfortable settings, free of charge. Here’s an interesting aspect of the organization: Gilda’s Club, like most breast cancer advocates, makes an effort to encourage a new way of thinking about cancer by changing the very language we use when we talk about it. Ever notice that our site, and many of our colleagues, use terms like “people living with cancer,” as opposed to “cancer victims”? That’s no mistake; it’s a conscious choice by the breast cancer community to redefine what it means to live with (and without) cancer. Gilda’s Club also never refers to “battling cancer”; rather, they focus on helping clubmembers “regain control” and “wellbeing.” Here at The Path of Wellness & Healing, we, too, believe that the words we choose (and the intentions behind those words) can have a powerful effect on our community, and the entire breast cancer experience. Check out their website if you’d like to find a Gilda’s Club near you, or learn how to start one in your neighborhood.