Stories From the Heart
Fred Emory – Gilda’s Club’s Programming is So Encompassing
Whether young or old, at any stage, any age, cancer can be a scary word. Although cancer has touched nearly everyone in some way, whether directly or indirectly through someone they know, not everyone knows there’s a very special place for them to go when cancer knocks on their door.
Karen Bieber – Gilda’s is a Place Not Only for Those Living with Cancer, but for Their Caregivers to Feel Supported
Nowadays, it seems rather difficult to find someone who has not been touched by cancer in some way. Both of Karen’s in-laws have been on their own cancer journey which lead her to Gilda’s Club. “I get to be a Gilda’s Greeter-it’s fun to see everyone greet each other with hugs – they can understand and relate to each other’s journeys and they lift each other up.”
Jennie Bailey – I Know the Value of This Gem in Our Community
Whether young or old, at any stage, any age, cancer can be a scary word. Although cancer has touched nearly everyone in some way, whether directly or indirectly through someone they know, not everyone knows there’s a very special place for them to go when cancer knocks on their door.
Louise Carter – Your Diagnosis and Treatment, You are Never the Same Person a – and People at Gilda’s Club Get That
Louise is a two-time survivor of breast cancer, but it was her sister’s diagnosis that led her to Gilda’s Club. “Having a loved one diagnosed was a very different experience for me,” Louise stated. “I wanted to see how others dealt with those feelings, and see about getting some support, ideas and maybe some comfort.”
Jonathan Klassy – Never Been So Excited Than Now About How We Plan to Pursue Our Vision
Reflecting on the past year at Gilda’s Club and where we are today, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds to help those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Jonathan has never been more excited than he is today about how we plan to pursue our vision: “So that no one faces cancer alone!”
Jennifer and Daniel Ziemer – Gilda’s Club is a Place to Help People Understand the Journey, and We Feel It Is Our Responsibility to Help This Organization
Jennifer’s first memory of Gilda’s Club was learning about the red door. “Something about that door very much resonated with me, and at the time I was thankful cancer did not directly affect me or my family,” Jennifer exclaimed. But as for many in our community, cancer did knock on her door when her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after learning about Gilda’s Club – and again, one month later, when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer as well.
Anne Duell – Gilda’s Club is Such a Gift to Anyone Touched by Cancer
Although Anne just joined the Board of Directors last year, she has worked with or around the organization from the time when it was just becoming a reality. Anne believes the dedication to this dream and the growth of Gilda’s Club for anyone touched by cancer is truly a gift to our community.
Von Lamey – Wished A Resource Such as Gilda’s Club was Around When His Wife Lost Her Mother
Von Lamey is no stranger to cancer, as he reflects on his family’s “three lost treasures” – his mother-in-law’s battle with ovarian cancer, his grandmother’s battle with lung cancer, and his aunt’s battle with breast cancer.
Tammy Shaw – Everyone Needs a Place When Facing Cancer
Feeling alone is one of the worst feelings that you can have when told you have cancer. When you come to Gilda’s Club, the first thing that you see is our red door. It is bright, it is welcoming and when you walk through it, there is nothing but support for anyone facing cancer.
Alyssa Hahn – Talking About Her Grief Helps Keep Her Dad’s Memory Alive
Alyssa’s family didn’t have a history of cancer, so when her dad was diagnosed, she didn’t know where to turn. She remembers working a volunteer booth for Big Brothers, Big Sisters at the local library and seeing the booth for Gilda’s Club. She had just been saying to others how she wished there was a place she could go for support.
Atefeh Yazdanparast – Honored to Serve on the Board for Such An Important Cause
As Atefeh starts her third year of service as a board member at Gilda’s Club Evansville, she considers it an incredible honor to serve in such an important cause and work with such a loving and caring group at Gilda’s Club whose passion and vision is “so that no one faces cancer alone.”
Phillip Murphy – Like Most Other 17 Year Old…and Also a Cancer Survivor
In many ways, Phillip is like any other 17 year old. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, taking historical trips with his grandfather, watching tv with his brother, hanging out with his amazing dog, Sydney, and attending camps. But in many ways, his life is very different than most.
J.J. Mohr – With the Support of Others, He Learned It’s Okay to Laugh Again and Not Just Simply Exist
Seasons change and celebrations come and go – and like the seasons, your life story is ever changing. If cancer is part of your story, there is support for you behind Gilda’s Club’s red doors.
Susan Seger – Finding the Courage to Walk Through Our Red Door after Losing Her Friend, Ann Moore
Susan Seger found she could not walk through our red door until nine months after Gilda’s Club had opened. Being a personal friend of Ann Moore, she knew just how much Ann wanted Gilda’s Club to open here in Evansville, but the memory of losing her friend was still too painful.
Ken Ellspermann – So Many Exciting Memories and Milestones Over the Past Seven Plus Years of Being a Board Member
It has been an exciting 7 plus years serving as a board member for Gilda’s Club Evansville. As I write my final message for Gilda’s December newsletter, I cannot help but recall all the exciting memories and milestones that were created over the past several years.
Rick Wooley – Feeling Invincible Until He Heard His Wife Has Cancer
Rick learned early in his career and credits Don Garrett for instilling in him to always think who you can help and how you can offer them a helping hand.
Neil Fortwendel – Losing My Mom to Cancer had Profound Impact on My Life
Neil’s mother’s story was the driving force for him getting involved in the cancer community and joining the board nearly 3 years ago. While he has never personally been diagnosed with cancer, he has certainly been affected by the cloud of confusion, the endless questions and emotional toll it brings…..and still brings some 9 years later.
Jennifer Murphy- Everyone is Fighting Their Fight, But They are There for Each Other as Well
It’s been ten years since her son, Phillip, was diagnosed with brain and spinal cord cancer at the age of seven. Jennifer knows firsthand how important a place like Gilda’s Club is for both those who have cancer and their family and friends.
Angie Bakel – If Cancer Has Knocked on Your Door, You Know Your Life Priorities Suddenly Change
Angie will always remember the date – April 21, 2011. Her life changed forever – she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She knows firsthand that if cancer comes knocking on your door, your life priorities suddenly change.
Sally Mulzer – It’s So Wonderful Seeing the Members Living and Enjoying Their Lives
With her two daughters off to college and having more free time now as an empty-nester, Sally wanted to start doing more volunteer work. Losing her best friend to breast cancer twelve years ago, she decided Gilda’s Club Evansville might be a good place to give her time, especially since a neighbor of hers was volunteering at Gilda’s Club and seemed to really enjoy it.
Chelsey Woolsey – Truly Feel Blessed to be Part of the Gilda’s Family
Chelsey stated her journey with Gilda’s Club in January, and she thinks it’s been amazing! Many exciting things have happened, with her favorite being Camp Gilda this summer! She felt honored to be able to build amazing relationships with our members and their families.
Dan Whitehead – No One Can Fully Understand That Difficult Journey as Well as Someone Who Has Been on the Same Path
When Dan’s wife, Dana, was diagnosed with breast cancer, they were grateful to have a rather large support system with family and friends close by during their cancer journey as well as the financial means to help alleviate some of the many stressors families deal with during such tough times.
Aaron Rees – Joined the Board to See what I Could Do for the Club, but Realize It’s More About What the Club Has Done for Me
Last year, Aaron wrote about cancer striking within his immediate family and his special interest in serving the youth within our community that have been impacted by cancer. He discussed the differences in treating youth vs. adults and suggested good things were on the horizon – what a difference a year makes!
Bill Meyer- Gilda’s and Its Members Have Helped Me Learn to Celebrate What It is to Live
Bill believes the most important work done at Gilda’s is opening the door to any and all as it gives people possibilities, promise, acceptance and courage to face cancer. Bill, we are happy you and Billie walked through our red door!
Nick Cirignano – Gilda’s Club Continues to Push to Ensure that No One Faces Cancer Alone
Besides the new Youth and Family programs, exciting new programming is always in the works; however, none of it can happen without the support of our community. So please, come on out and see what we are up to! Let’s make sure everyone facing cancer can get the support they need.
Elaine Lueders – Having Fun and Getting More Out of Volunteering Than I Give
Volunteering has been a part of Elaine’s life for many years, be it with her church or a local nonprofit organization. Being a people person, she knew when she retired after more than 38 years at a local bank that she wanted to spend her time at a place where she could help others and keep herself busy. She found that at Gilda’s Club almost one year ago and says her only regret is not getting involved sooner.
Robin Lawrence – There is a Bigger Purpose with My Diagnosis
Robin’s connection to Gilda’s Club goes back way before our red doors opened. Her father passed away at the age of 47 from a heart attack just six weeks before Robin’s wedding. Her aunt, who had raised her father through his later teen-age years, gave Robin her father’s diary. The first entries were in 1946 when her father was just 13 years old, and he wrote about his sick mother and how she was unable to work or had to stay in bed. Fast forward to an entry in 1950, when he was 16 years old – a gloomy day and this ugly disease called cancer had taken his mother away.
Melanie Atwood – When We Lean on Each Other, We Become a Dynamic Cancer Fighting Team That Brings Strength, Support and Hope
Tammy Shaw – Proud to be Involved with Such a Caring, Helping Place
Tammy’s passion for Gilda’s Club grows stronger every time she witnesses the amazing support the Clubhouse provides. She is so proud to be involved with such a caring, helpful place that is committed to making the lives of those impacted by cancer a little more bearable. She loves our motto – so that no one faces cancer alone.
Kathie Ginn – You Are Accepted for Exactly Who You Are – You Can Be Yourself and No One Judges You
Kathie remembers walking into Gilda’s Club just over two years ago after finding out her youngest brother, Bill, had been diagnosed with cancer. She felt very lost as he lived 200 miles away, and she wanted to be there for him.
Joanthan Klassy – Gilda’s Club has a Customized Program that Meets Each Person at Their Point of Need
Jonathan recalls a story being shared at a board meeting that made quite the impact on him. A couple came to the clubhouse for one visit but hadn’t returned. It turns out, while they only visited once, the support they received was exactly what they needed, when they needed it. Gilda’s Club has a customized program that meets each person at their point of need – allowing each person to choose the amount of interaction that works best for them.
Mary Beth Midle – There Are So Many Willing Hands and Open Hearts-I Would Do Anything for These People
Mary Beth started volunteering at Gilda’s Club last year with the mindset that she could help out in many ways. She quickly realized she was getting so much more out of it for herself than she had thought. Her fellow members and volunteers are very special to her and continue to be very good motivators.
Atefeh Yazdanparast – Thankful for the Meaningful Difference Gilda’s Club is in the Lives of Those Touched by Cancer
As she started her second year of service as a board member at Gilda’s Club Evansville, Atefeh has much to be thankful for and a lot to be excited about. She is grateful to the amazing members, volunteers, donors, and community for their endless support of the Clubhouse. She is also thankful to her fellow board members for their efforts to continuously improve the services to the community and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all individuals touched by cancer.
Rick Will – Vividly Remembers His Own Emotional Journey When Family Members Were Diagnosed with Cancer
Rick remembers hearing about Gilda’s Club on local television, but it wasn’t until he met with Melanie Atwood to discuss energy efficiency opportunities at the Clubhouse that he realized what a special place it was.
David Bucur – The Success of Gilda’s Club is Truly Shared by Every Donor, Staff Member, Volunteer and Member
While attending the Gilda’s Club volunteer appreciation dinner in January, David was reminded of all the people it takes to make Gilda’s work. He understands and appreciates that the success of Gilda’s Club is truly shared by every donor, staff member, volunteer, and participant.
Glenn and Mary Kay Wood – Cancer Doesn’t Care Who You Are, but You Can Learn to Live with It with the Support of Others
Glenn and Mary Kay remember hearing about Gilda’s Club when Randy and Ann Moore let the community know they wanted to bring such a place to Evansville. A few years later, Glenn was diagnosed with lung cancer. During their cancer journey, they decided to come through the red door and have both been active members in the support groups.
Lisa Frank – Eager to Have a Greater Impact than Ever Before
Lisa is excited to be serving as the Club’s 2016 President. Under her leadership, we have many plans for this year, including going mobile! We are challenging ourselves to get out there too. Gilda’s Club is so much more than a place. We are people reaching out to other people. We are working on many plans to be in the community, be in the workplace, and simply be available!
Sarah Kenoyer – So Much Support for Members Going Through Their Cancer Journey
Sarah knew once she had completed her schooling, got started on her career and got married, she would want to start volunteering some of her time in a cancer-related organization because her own family had been impacted by it. The impact has been so strong within her family that she and her two sisters have pink ribbon tattoos as a way to share the important message of breast health as both of their grandmothers battled breast cancer.
Tammy Shaw – Cancer Sucks, and No One Should Every Travel that Journey Alone
For over nine years, Tammy’s mom battled cancer – lymphoma, bone cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer. Just when they thought they had gotten over one, a new type of cancer would show up. But through it all, as a family, they believed in her doctor, the good Lord and their mother. Tammy is thankful Gilda’s Club was there as well. It’s a story of hope and miracles!
Natalie Hedde – Donor
Natalie remembers sitting at Jaya’s in downtown Evansville across from Marcia Forston and learning about Randy and Ann Moore’s dream. The founding members were looking for new board members to embrace the concept of Gilda’s Club and help bring the dream to fruition.
Neil Fortwendel – Board Member
Neil is often compelled to reflect on the year as the holidays approach. At Gilda’s, he believes we have much to be thankful for and we continue to be blessed. Blessed by our members and staff, their families, our donors and the community as a whole. Gilda’s Club experienced tremendous growth in this first full year of Clubhouse operations. He and the rest of the board and staff are deeply honored to serve this great community and are excited for 2016 and beyond.
Sarah Wendt – Member
With the encouragement of her husband, Sarah decided to join Gilda’s Club earlier this year. Nick felt Sarah needed an outlet for herself as they continued their cancer journey together, which began in 2007 when Nick was 27 years old. Since that time, Nick’s cancer has returned two times. In August 2014, scans showed the cancer spreading to the other side of his brain and within the tissue, so they are unable to operate, which means his cancer is now considered terminal.
Mary Ann White – Volunteer
Becoming a volunteer at Gilda’s Club has been “fabulous” and more than Mary Ann could have imagined when she signed up to give back. Her mother, grandmother, cousins and some friends have passed away from cancer, so the cause is near and dear to her heart.
Lisa Frank – Board Member
Lisa’s life was greatly affected by cancer when she lost her mom to ovarian cancer in 2006. Since that time, she had been looking for a way to give back and honor her life. Gilda’s Club is something she had heard about through various news reports as the Club was coming together and the mission tugged at her heart. Lisa feels her involvement is very rewarding, and she has never looked back.
Don Bakel – Volunteer
Don is no stranger to the cancer journey. Both of his grandmothers passed away from cancer, and his mother fought ovarian cancer for about seven years before she passed away at almost 80 years old. But it was Angie’s, his daughter-in-law, breast cancer diagnosis that spurred him to get involved.
Sheila Hauck and St. Mary’s – Donor
Reflecting on her first memory of Gilda’s Club coming to Evansville, Sheila remembers hearing about Ann Moore while she was receiving treatment at St. Mary’s Hospital and how both she and Randy really wanted someplace where their family could go for support specifically for cancer.
Cleta Garrett – Member
After her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment fifteen years ago, Cleta decided to move to the Evansville area to spend time with her grandchildren. She was introduced to the Hope Center and began getting connected and developing friendships with others who were in their cancer journey as well. She was first introduced to the concept of Gilda’s Club during a trip to Louisville.
Aaron Rees- Board Member
Aaron’s family was dramatically impacted by cancer when his wife, Amanda, was diagnosed with sarcoma in May 2011. She succumbed to her cancer in August 2013, leaving her husband and their three young children. Aaron and his family are members of Gilda’s Club, and he joined the Board in 2015.
Vera Moore – Volunteer
Vera enjoyed watching Gilda Radner back in the day, and when she heard about Gilda’s Club Evansville, she thought she would go check it out. Losing her husband in 1984 after a year and a half battle with cancer, she knew firsthand the struggles families go through during their cancer journeys. She had been looking for a place to volunteer as a way to give back to something that had touched their lives.
Dr. Schuman and The Women’s Cancer Center – Donor
Dr. Schuman of Deaconess Women’s Cancer Center knows when a patient is given a cancer diagnosis, it can be quite overwhelming. Many times, the first thoughts are of death and a sense of hopelessness. He believes getting them involved at Gilda’s Club with their community of survivors can really help patients change their outlook, which then helps with treatment results.
Shirley Baughn – Member
Shirley spent many, many years as a nurse in the corporate world, including 38 years at Whirlpool. She retired two years ago and felt she was becoming what she called a couch potato. She started to withdraw from people and activities, and joining Gilda’s Club has been such a benefit to get her back out.
Randy Moore – Co-Founder and Board Member
Five years ago, Randy wrote an article for a local publication about cancer. Seeing it for the monster that it is, he said, “Cancer has tentacles.” Cancer still has tentacles, but they aren’t quite so scary now that Gilda’s Club Evansville is open. Randy understands love has tentacles as well.
Peggy Bakel – Volunteer
Peggy’s volunteer story with cancer organizations began when her daughter-in-law, Angie, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. Peggy became involved with Chemo Buddies during Angie’s treatment and continues to be an active volunteer there. It was a natural progression to begin volunteering at Gilda’s Club when Angie became the Clubhouse Coordinator.
Timothy Weir – Accuride – Donor
Since moving to Evansville just four years ago, Timothy has become extremely involved in many civic activities, including chairing the City’s Clean Evansville initiative and more recently being appointed by the Mayor as co-director of the Commission of Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County. We sure are happy that he and Accuride are part of our Gilda’s Club community as well!
Sue Goff – Member
Sue was involved with Gilda’s Club before there was a red door to walk through. It’s been a “cool” experience for her to see the dream come to fruition, and she enjoys staying active both as a member and a volunteer.
David Bucur – Board Member
David received a phone call a few months ago informing him that the cancer had returned for a third time. It was more aggressive and more widespread than before. The doctor said there was little that could be done. The prognosis was no longer years, but instead, months.
Joanne Loy – Volunteer
Joanne is one of the many smiling faces we are lucky to see at the Clubhouse regularly. If it’s to help with the Fresh Market deliveries, volunteering at the front desk, helping out with the monthly mailings or taking part in one of the many activities, especially the crafts, Joanne is there ready to help!
Linda White – Deaconess Health Systems – Donor
Linda never imagined Evansville would be large enough to have its very own Gilda’s Club, but then not all cities had someone like Ann Moore and the support of so many people to bring Ann’s dream to life. Her public announcement and her trials and tribulations inspired many to act and make it happen, including Linda.
Billie Meyer – Member
It was 2008 when Billie heard that life-changing diagnosis – it’s cancer. “I remember telling Bill to drop me off at home and to go back to work because I needed that time alone for the biggest pity party and then move on,” Billie reflected.
Jonathan Klassy – Board Member
Jonathan’s first involvement with Gilda’s Club was during his junior year at the University of Evansville when their class was asked to develop a marketing plan to help spread the word about the organization. Their team’s marketing plan was selected as the winner! This was a great experience, but it did not mark the end of his journey with Gilda’s Club.
Debbie Kueber – Volunteer
Spending time with her daughter during this past Christmas holiday watching the Saturday Night Live Special, Debbie was reminded of how much she enjoyed the humor of Gilda Radner. Not long after that, she decided to start volunteering in 2015, and remembered that humor and decided to reach out to Gilda’s Club Evansville.
Jim Butterfield – Evansville Surgical Associates – Donor
Jim lost an old and dear friend to cancer at the beginning of 2013. His friend Bill was the CEO of Evansville Surgical Associates, but when diagnosed with cancer, he decided to step down and Jim was to replace him. The goal was they would work together for awhile, but cancer had a different plan.
Shannon French Holt – Member
Shannon remembers driving past Gilda’s Club before it had officially opened. Then in February 2013, right before the grand opening, she found out her cancer had returned after being two years in remission.
Penne Gambrall – Board Member
My “Gilda’s Journey” began casually one Sunday evening in 2008 while participating in a Sunday school gathering for pizza and fellowship. My husband, David, and I were members of the Sunday school class led by Randy Moore. During a lunch get-together, David and I were relaying our volunteering experiences with the local Race for the Cure, which had taken place earlier that morning. Three sets of eyes widened as our table mates realized we knew about planning and organizing events for not for profits. Ann quickly asked, “would you like to help us open a Gilda’s Club?” No one could or would say no to Ann! That evening, I became Gilda’s Third Party Event Coordinator!
John Paulson – Volunteer
John has been facilitating the Family and Friends support group since Gilda’s Club opened its doors until just recently. When thinking about that experience, he believes it has enriched his own life and is grateful for the opportunity.
The Rug Merchant – In-Kind Donor
When Lynne and Terry heard Ann Moore’s story, and how she and her husband, Randy Moore, had a dream of bringing a Gilda’s Club to Evansville, they wanted to be a part of it. Being a Gilda Radner fan growing up and hearing about Gilda’s Clubs being opened in different cities, Lynne was excited to be a part of it. Adding to that excitement, the Boehne House off of Lincoln Ave., which was the original location for the Clubhouse, was only four doors down from their business, The Rug Merchant.
Pat and Jana Mitchell – Member
Jana and Pat’s cancer journey began last summer in July 2014, just a year after they had been married. Showing no signs of any illness except bad knees, Pat was getting ready for knee surgery when a chest x-ray showed something not quite right and he was later diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.
Kyle Markle – Board Member
Kyle cannot think of a more exciting time for Gilda’s Club as we begin our second year providing a place for those in our community who have been touched by cancer. The enthusiasm surrounding our organization as word continues to spread that we are open is amazing.
Rita Clements – Volunteer
You can usually find Rita sitting at the front desk at Gilda’s on most Monday mornings, and her shift is usually around the same time the Knitting for Hope group is hanging out. She really enjoys seeing how much the members care about each other. She witnesses on a weekly basis the friendships that are growing because of Gilda’s Club being here in Evansville.
Beans & Baristas – In-Kind Donor
If you have ever been to Gilda’s Club, it’s a safe bet you have smelled the delicious coffee specially made for us by Phyllis Wolf and Regina Smith, the two lovely ladies who own Beans & Baristas in Eastland Mall. This special blend was one of four coffees presented as part of a test tasting last summer. Our members and volunteers chose which one would become our signature coffee, Gilda’s Giddy Up and Go, which is sold in their store with part of the proceeds coming back to Gilda’s Club!
Pat Novack – Member
Pat knew she qualified for membership in Gilda’s Club, not only because of her personal journey with cancer, but also because she has two sisters who are breast cancer survivors as well. She was initially concerned that her involvement might deny someone else the support they needed. She just recently became a member because she wanted to participate in more activities and be around others at Gilda’s and knows there is much more room for her and many others.
Caren Whitehouse – Board Member
On January 29th, Caren attended the Gilda’s Club Evansville’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner as a Board Member. She was delighted to sit with seven volunteers at her round table while being served delicious food from the Acropolis Restaurant.
Pam Kimsey – Volunteer
Pam was introduced to Gilda’s Club when Pat Miller talked about it at her church. She decided then she would get involved and started as a committee member for Ann’s Kitchen through Aldersgate Church. She decided to give more volunteer time to Gilda’s, but remembers not knowing exactly what she wanted to do.
Jack Griffin – Donor
Moving to Evansville in 2010, Jack made the decision to raise Atlas Van Lines’ profile, and one such way was to get active in the community. One of the great opportunities to do just that presented itself when Bob Jones of Old National Bank asked Jack if he would be interested in being one of the celebrity chefs with 100 Men Who Cook fundraiser, which benefits a local nonprofit each year.
Jack remembers hearing Randy Moore speak at the 2012 event, where Gilda’s Club Evansville was that year’s beneficiary.
Trisha Bingham – Member
When diagnosed in October 2014 with thyroid cancer, Trisha remembers thinking “why me?” Since that time, she has become very connected at Gilda’s Club and realizes she is not alone. Many people are facing similar situations, and through a network of support, they are finding hope.
Ken Ellspermann – Board Member
Ken started his own personal cancer journey (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) eight years ago. He was instrumental in raising funds to get our red doors open here in Evansville, and now he is serving as our Board President.
Pat Retherford – Volunteer
When thinking about her favorite memory so far as a volunteer at Gilda’s Club, Pat Retherford looks off to the left and smiles. She remembers one Tuesday afternoon when a gentleman came through the red door asking how Gilda’s could help a friend of his who was in need of support while going through her cancer journey. Pat remembers he spoke to Angie, our Clubhouse Coordinator, and he signed himself and his friend up right then to attend the next New Member Meeting. Just knowing they would both receive the support they needed inspired Pat.
Sarah Scheer and The Fresh Market – In-Kind Donor
The Fresh Market goodies are considered a staple at Gilda’s Club. The salads, sandwiches, breads and sweets donated on a weekly basis provide a tasty meal or snack for those who walk through our Red Doors, and there is always something new to try. It might be a vegetable shish-ka-bob or a chia yogurt or a variety of unique foods and drinks in between!
Jennifer and Clarence Seibert- Members
It’s been one heck of a year for Jennifer and Clarence. Jennifer remembers waking up around 3am last New Year’s Day knowing something wasn’t right and telling Clarence they needed to get to the hospital. Jennifer was diagnosed with colon cancer that had metastasized to her liver. She has endured both chemotherapy and surgeries, including a surgery in September where they needed to reconstruct and remove 60% of her liver. Even though it’s been a tough year, the Seibert’s definitely count their blessings, and to them, there are plenty.
Kevin Bakel- Volunteer
When you are married to a Gilda’s Club staff member, volunteering usually comes with the territory, and when your wife is Angie Bakel and a cancer survivor herself, the volunteering holds a special place in your heart. Kevin remembers the day Angie called him with her breast cancer diagnosis.
Julia Georgesen – Donor
When thinking about her first memory of Gilda’s Club, Julia reflected on her 35 year career in oncology, a decade of that time as a nurse in hospice care followed by years attending to pain and symptom management in the community working with radiation oncologists and community physicians.
Judy Joiner – Member
On a Saturday in April 2005, Judy woke up barely able to get out of bed. She forced herself to get up even as painful as it was to get going with her day, and then woke up 10 days later finding herself in ICU. She was diagnosed with meningitis and the doctors really did not think she would live. One doctor in particular kept searching for answers as to what was behind the meningitis and the weakened immune system and found the culprit – Multiple Myeloma.
Janet Hofmann – Volunteer
Janet remembers seeing Randy Moore on the television talking about his and Ann’s vision to bring Gilda’s Club to Evansville, but never really thought about getting involved at the time. Then cancer struck her family, motivating her to find out more about Gilda’s and how she could get involved.
Cindy Whitehurst – Donor
Cindy remembers reading an article in Evansville Living about Randy and Ann Moore’s dream to bring Gilda’s Club to Evansville. She personally did not know the Moore’s, but it struck a chord with her as she had been personally touched by cancer when her father was diagnosed with lung cancer years before.
Tanya Evans – Member
Tanya started as a volunteer at Gilda’s when the Clubhouse opened its red doors. Even though a cancer survivor herself, she first thought she didn’t really need the support – thinking she would just give something to others going through their cancer journey. “Boy, was I totally wrong – I found exactly what I needed and more right here – even though I didn’t realize I needed it.”
Guy Hall – Volunteer
Cancer is no stranger to Guy. He is a pancreatic cancer survivor and Nancy, his wife of almost 35 years, is a breast cancer survivor. So when he heard about Ann Moore, whom he had worked as a videographer, he started following the story on her blog. That was his introduction to Gilda’s Club.
Taylor and Jenny Payne – Donor
Even though they personally have not dealt with cancer in their family, Taylor and Jenny Payne have several close friends and acquaintances that have been and currently are on the cancer journey. Jenny has known Randy Moore since high school, and that is how they learned of Ann Moore’s cancer diagnosis and the dream of having a Gilda’s Club here in Evansville.
Carolyn Schapker – Member
Carolyn is a 32 year survivor of ovarian cancer, and when she looks back to those days and other struggles she has had during her life, her outlook is inspiring. She is one tough cookie with a huge heart who is known at Gilda’s as someone other members can depend on – if it’s to listen, give advice or go to bat for them.
Sarah Appel – Volunteer
Getting involved as a volunteer at Gilda’s Club seemed like the next step in Sarah’s cancer journey. She had met Angie Bakel a couple years ago after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28. Angie, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer the year before, worked with Sarah’s husband at the time and they asked if she would be willing to talk with Sarah about her experience.
Beth Storms – Donor
Back in 1993 while attending Tres Dias, an interdenominational Christian week-end retreat, Beth remembers meeting Ann Moore for the first time. Seeing such a beautiful lady, who appeared to the world as having a life without troubles, open up as a table leader and share her struggles and sufferings, was inspiring to Beth.
Pat Crocker – Member
Since being diagnosed with cancer in 2012, Pat does not like to make long-term plans. Her new thought is one day at a time – and she believes Gilda’s Club is the place to do just that, be it hanging out over coffee during Java Time or participating in an activity or just sitting back and listening to the stories of the everyday lives of other members.
Letty Haynes- Volunteer
It’s like Christmas every time Letty loads up her CRV with all the yummy Fresh Market donations and fills our refrigerators up every week! And we think of her as such a gift as well! Thank you Letty for all you do to make a difference here at Gilda’s!
Jim Muehlbauer – Donor
About five years ago, Jim received a call from Ken Ellspermann asking if he would make a few phone calls to raise money for Gilda’s Club. This was the first time he had heard about such an organization, and as he learned more about Gilda’s Club, the mission hit home to him. Being a big believer of how critical the people and emotional side of things are to overall health, Jim was excited to do what he could to help out – plus he could never say no to Ken!
Donna Calloway – Member
When her husband of 47 years was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer in April of this year, Donna was so thankful for the support and companionship she and David found at Gilda’s Club. To her, it was very comforting to have others know what you are going through and give you moral support.
Anne Stallings – Volunteer
Anne lost her sister, Susan, in 2003 to metastatic breast cancer. Susan was just 46 years old and a mother to three children, the youngest being only six years old. Susan lived in Nashville, Tennessee, and she was involved with one of the first Gilda’s Clubs, where she found a wonderful network of support – friends who understood what she was going through. Gilda’s Club Nashville had support groups, educational classes, programs for her children and just the camaraderie to help her through her journey.
Jim Coy – Donor
Jim remembers sitting around Marcia Forston’s table when he first heard about Gilda’s Club and Marcia and Ann Moore’s vision of having a Gilda’s Club right here in Evansville after they had visited the Club in Louisville. From that point on, the march began to turn that vision into a reality.
Sid Joest – Member
When Sid’s daughter, Anna, was diagnosed at age 18 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, they searched for a place where Anna could find someone who had been through this journey of diagnosis and treatment. What they were surprised to find was a support group to help them as caregivers. Sid and his wife, Rita, have actively participated in the caregiver group pretty much since it was started.