By Elise Taylor
Gilda’s Club Board Member
Vice President and CFO, HR Group, HCA Healthcare
I work for HCA, a company that supports and strongly encourages its colleagues to get involved in the community. A few years ago, Joanne Pulles, HCA’s Vice President of Community Engagement, introduced me to Gilda’s Club when I expressed interest in getting involved with a charity that helps cancer patients.
As soon as I learned about Gilda’s Club’s mission, and I met the wonderful people involved with the organization, I was hooked. Every person there – from the receptionist who greets you at the front desk to the clinical support team and administrative staff – truly believes in the work they’re doing. And they have created this warm, safe environment to help ensure every person who walks through the famous red door never feels alone.
My husband Matt and I lost our best friend, Colleen Grady, to cancer in August 2014; we still have days that we grapple with the loss. Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer understands the trauma of the battle and the overwhelming feeling of grief. Gilda’s Club’s staff is uniquely qualified to help you realize you are not on your own, and to provide the support you need to find strength and peace. Today, more than ever, the services Gilda’s Club provides are essential; their virtual and in-person support groups and other activities are helping those effected by cancer live their best lives, even amidst the uncertainty and sadness. And the amazing part is that everything they offer is free – free for individuals with a cancer diagnosis and free for the people who love and care for them.
This is my Gilda’s Club why. It’s why I serve on Gilda’s Club’s Board. It’s why I give monthly charitable donations. And it’s why I encourage others to get involved in this wonderful community. It’s also why Gilda’s has become a family affair in my household and throughout my personal life: My husband and his architecture firm, Studio 8 Design, have sponsored and attended numerous Gilda’s Club events; our wonderful friends have joined us virtually and in-person for the annual Red Door Bash; and my terrific co-workers at HCA volunteer their time every year for the Gilda’s Club Golf Classic.
Everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way at some point in their life. Using whatever resources you have – whether time, money, talent, or a combination of them all – means Gilda’s can continue to serve our community at no cost. Won’t you join me in supporting their mission?