At Gilda’s Club Madison, we recognize that cancer impacts the whole family. Our youth programs are designed to offer them a place to connect, talk about their experiences, and most importantly, know they are not alone.

Emotional Support: Family Night

This evening of support includes dinner for participants and support programming for family members of all ages. Each support group is facilitated by trained mental health professionals.

Teen Time

Teen time discussion

Teen Time occurs weekly during Family Night. It is designed for teens ages 13-18 who have a parent, grandparent, sibling, friend or loved one with cancer. It is also open to teens who have a cancer diagnosis.

Facilitated by mental health professionals, the group incorporates art, interactive games, and educational activities that promote a sense of belonging and normalcy. Teens learn coping skills, express their feelings through creativity, and gain important knowledge about cancer and cancer treatment.

For more information and to register your child for this group, please call 608-828-8880 or e-mail program@gildasclubmadison.org

Kid Support

Kid Support occurs weekly during Family Night. It is a 10-week support and education group for kids ages 4-12 who are affected by cancer. The program is for both children who have a family member with cancer and children who themselves have cancer.

Kid Support uses education, art, expressive games, and team-building to help children feel safe to ask questions, express difficult feelings, and share common experiences.

Sessions include

  • Understanding Cancer
  • Understanding Feelings
  • Talking about Change
  • Learning to Relax
  • Talking about Death
  • Appreciating Ourselves
  • Solving Problems

Kid Support Goals

  • Kids will experience peer support, learn new coping skills, and have a safe space to express their feelings
  • Families will increase communication about cancer, strengthen the bond between parents and children, and reduce stress.

For more information and to register your child for this group, please call 608-828-8880 or e-mail program@gildasclubmadison.org.


Noogie Play

Supervised play and activities for children 4 and under. Noogie Volunteers who work with children go through a specialized training and pass a background check.

For more information and to register your child for this group, please call 608-828-8880 or e-mail program@gildasclubmadison.org.


Grief Busters

Children that have lost a sibling, parent, guardian, grandparent, or other loved one to cancer can participate in this special professionally-facilitated grief and loss support program designed for children. Grief Busters is a six session program and is run at different times throughout the year.

For more information about when the next Grief Busters session will take place, please call 608-828-8880 or e-mail program@gildasclubmadison.org.


Workshops

Kids and teens cope with cancer in many different ways. Finding activities that foster creativity and movement give them new ways to express themselves. Check the online calendar for youth-specific workshops that might include arts and crafts, movement (such as yoga, karate or dance), healthy cooking, and stress reduction.


Socials

Child holding craft project

Kids and teens benefit from the sense of normalcy and belonging that is created by seeing other families like theirs. You’ll find social gatherings geared towards the whole family on our calendar. Game nights, movies, potlucks, and our annual Noogiefest Halloween party are great opportunities to connect with other families affected by cancer.

Do you have a talent or expertise you’d like to share with our kids and teens? Please contact our Program Director, Kirsten Norslien at 828-8873 or email kirsten@gildasclubmadison.org.


Family Support and Short-Term Counseling

A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family. You might have questions or concerns about how to talk to your kids, what resources to use, and how to best support children through a cancer diagnosis. Our Program Staff are experienced at supporting you and your family through this.

For more information or to set up a free family counseling session, please call 608-828-8880 or e-mail program@gildasclubmadison.org.