There are 16 million cancer survivors in the United States. With increasing advances in cancer care and treatment, the number of survivors continues to grow.

However, after the whirlwind of treatment, many cancer survivors find themselves asking, “What next?” There isn’t always an easy answer. “Although there have been great advances in treatment, the emotional impact of treatment is challenging,” shares Kirsten Norslien, Gilda’s Program Director. “Cancer survivorship is more than just follow-up appointments.”

Moving beyond cancer with Gilda's Club Madison

Existential Questions

Gilda’s Club’s new Survivorship Series addresses many of the issues that cancer survivors begin to consider once they are through cancer treatment. Several studies of cancer survivors have identified topics that are important to them. These topics were used to design the Survivorship Series.

The series started in May with “Now What? Redefining Yourself.” It looked at the existential questions cancer survivors ask after going through this life-changing experience. One of the attendees of the workshop shared, “This talk was really relevant to me as I reach the two year mark after my diagnosis. It helps me be more thoughtful about how I move forward with what can feel like a heavy burden at times.”

Regaining Control

The next workshop, “Nutrition: Food as Medicine,” discussed what Kirsten describes as, “The #1 thing that cancer survivors have control over. Just like gas in a car, the quality of our food determines our performance.”

The third workshop covered exercise and movement and was lead by Dr. Leslie Waltke, one of the foremost physical therapists in the country dealing with cancer recovery. The next workshop was lead by Olivia Gratz, PhD about resilience and stress . A future workshop will cover ways to give back.

Made Possible by Community

The entire series is free and open to the public. It was made possible by generous donors who gave to our 2021 Giving Tuesday campaign. Thank you to everyone who made this series possible!

To learn about or register for future workshops, visit

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