Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attend activities before deciding to become a member?

Everyone interested in getting involved should first attend a Beyond The Red Door Orientation. During this orientation, you will hear about our history, mission, philosophy and program. You will also have an opportunity to introduce yourself and meet others who are impacted by cancer, including family members and friends. After attending the orientation, you can choose to become and member by completing a Customized Membership Plan or remain a participant. Participants are invited to attend educational lectures, healthy lifestyle workshops or social activities. You must be a member to attend our Support and Networking groups. Our Monthly Networking Groups are drop-in, and our Weekly Support Groups require placement.

Can I bring my children to activities that I want to attend?

Children are welcome to attend activities that are labeled “Noogieland” or “Family” activities. There are some activities that are geared towards adults and will usually be designated with an 18+ notification on the description. Please reach out to a program staff member if you have any questions about age suitability.

Can I bring my friend or family member?

Yes, but we do encourage you to either list them as a guest when you RSVP or have them register themselves. You are more than welcome to bring a guest to healthy lifestyle workshops, educational lectures, and social activities. If your loved one would like to join a support group, they will need to register and attend Beyond the Red Door: Orientation and complete their own intake process. Family members may not participate in the same weekly support group./p>

Can you tell me what treatment is best for me or give me a referral to a specialist?

Gilda’s Club does not provide medical advice or medical referrals of any kind, but we do provide educational lectures and workshops that empower you with relevant information. Through our affiliation with Cancer Support Community, we also offer a program called Open 2 Options (020). 020 is a free decision support counseling program that assists individuals with treatment-related decisions by identifying and prioritizing their questions and concerns for their healthcare team.

Do I have to be in a support group?

No. There are many ways to get involved and experience social and emotional support within our community setting, including social activities, healthy lifestyle activities, and educational workshops. Check out our calendar to see what’s coming up at the downtown Clubhouse and our partner hospital sites.

Do you need volunteers?

We are always looking for warm, friendly individuals to volunteer.  Our volunteer opportunities include working the front desk, helping with lectures and workshops, community outreach, working with children and teens and much more!  To become a volunteer, apply now at bit.ly/GCCvolunteer or contact us at info@gildasclubchicago.org or call (312)464-9900. 

Do you provide wigs or other medical supplies? Can I donate these items to Gilda’s Club?

Gilda’s Club does not provide or sell any products such as wigs or medical supplies, nor do we accept donations of these types. However, we can provide resources for wigs and other needs that we may not directly provide (prosthetics, edema sleeves, etc.) as well as information about where to donate.

Does Gilda’s Club offer one-on-one counseling?

Yes! Gilda’s Club Chicago now offers short-term individual counseling free of charge for those living with cancer, the primary caregiver for someone living with cancer, or have recently lost a loved one to cancer. To learn more about individual counseling, click here.

Have a question not answered here?
How can I help?

There are a variety of other ways you can help support Gilda’s Club Chicago and people impacted by cancer including volunteering, referring a friend and participating in an endurance event (running, cycling, swimming) as part of Team Gilda. Donations from individuals, businesses, foundations and special events allow our programming to remain free of charge for anyone impacted by cancer.

How is Gilda’s Club Chicago Funded?

Gilda’s Club Chicago is 100% privately funded and continues to rely on support from generous corporations, foundations, and individual donors. Gilda’s Club Chicago also hosts several fundraising events throughout the year and is fortunate to have individuals and organizations host their own events which benefit GCC. These events provide both financial support and serve to increase awareness of GCC’s free program so that no one faces cancer alone. GCC is grateful for those who include Gilda’s Club Chicago in their estate planning or make gifts in honor or memory of a loved one.

How much does it cost to join?

Membership is completely free of charge!

How often can I come?

You are welcome to come as often as you like. Monthly Support Groups require attendance at Beyond the Red door: Orientation prior to registering and attending. Weekly Support Groups and Individual Counseling require attendance at Beyond the Red Door: Orientation and then an individual intake. Support Groups and Networking Groups require a Customized Membership Plan prior to attending. Please call the Clubhouse for more information.

Is Gilda’s Club only open to people currently in cancer treatment?

No, our program is offered to anyone impacted by any type of cancer diagnosis at any point in their cancer experience; diagnosis through survivorship. This includes individuals living with cancer, their family members and friends, individuals who are post-treatment, and individuals who have lost someone to cancer. As part of the GCC community, there are always opportunities to give and get support from someone who understands.

Is Gilda’s Club only for women?

No! GCC is for men, women, children and teens of all ages, identities and backgrounds.

Is it ok for me to come if I don’t have cancer?

In order to remain focused on our mission, we welcome those who have been diagnosed with cancer, those who have a friend or family member who has been diagnosed, or those who have lost someone to cancer.

What are the benefits of membership?

If you are unsure where to start or what programming will benefit you, then creating a CMP is the ideal way to start! A CMP is required to participate in a weekly support group. It also comes with a variety of perks such as free parking and participation in special events and giveaways.

What is Membership? How do I join?

Every individual who walks through our Red Door is considered a member of Gilda’s Club Chicago! But to formally join, the first step is to attend a Beyond the Red Door: Member Orientation. You can register HERE. After the Beyond the Red Door: Member Orientation, you and a program staff member will meet to create a Customized Membership Plan (CMP) by discussing your needs, interests, and preferences.

What is Noogieland?

Named after the Noogies that Gilda used to receive on “Saturday Night Live,” “Noogieland” is a special place in the Wells Street and Advocate Christ Clubhouse where kids can be kids, connect with other children and families, and see that they are not alone. We offer support to children, teens and families impacted by cancer through age-appropriate support groups, social events, arts and crafts, and family activities.

Where can I find parking near the Wells Street Clubhouse?

Free parking is available to those who have completed a CMP. Please inquire at the front desk upon sign-in or ask a program staff member. If you have not completed a CMP, there is metered street parking on Wells and the neighboring streets.