President and CEO
Every year when spring rolls around, doesn’t it seem like it never lasts quite long enough? I suppose we all want more time to get ready for new growth, tend the garden, clean out the closets, and enjoy those perfect moments outside with family and friends before the bugs are at their peak! Spring is also an inspiring time to make plans for the future. In fact, at this time last year, planning for the future was exactly what we were doing, as we opened our very first satellite location in Williamson County. And what a year it was!
In 12 short months, more than 150 new members joined our cancer support community in Williamson County (inside the Provision Cares Proton Therapy Center). And this location regularly has more than 300 visits per month…and growing! Building community at a new location has shown us some very important things:
• Community grows wherever our members gather. Whether for pilates and yoga classes, information sessions, or book club meetings, our Williamson County participants have built a thriving community, just as our Midtown Clubhouse members have done for more than 20 years.
• Being located in the middle of a cancer care corridor is great for our members. A new medical office building housing Tennessee Oncology and Sarah Cannon opened recently next door to our Williamson County location, so now members can just take the sidewalk from their oncology appointment to a support group gathering or other activity at Gilda’s Club. The convenience and ease this creates is ideal.
• Most importantly, the stories our members share prove again and again that having support makes all the difference! With the news of her diagnosis, Jane Leffler felt alone because her family and friends live hundreds of miles away. “Enter Gilda’s Club… I have met so many wonderful people, both staff and survivors, who are supportive and full of compassion. Knowing we have a loving and supportive group at Gilda’s Club, to walk beside us and maybe at times give us a push, means we can and will maneuver our journeys’ long path.”
This spring, the Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee community – staff, board, members, donors, volunteers, and more – are once again making plans for the future. We are creating a 10-year vision for cancer support in Middle Tennessee and a 3-year strategic plan that will help us grow thoughtfully and purposefully into the future – ensuring no one has to face cancer alone. If you have ideas you would like to share, please contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org.