Family F.Y.I. (June 2011)

Men’s Participation Nearly Double

At Gilda’s Club Westchester Tell a man about a problem, and he – or least most men – will run to their computers and continue to plow through the work on their desk. But when cancer strikes, there is no way to simply “shut cancer out” and turn to the pressing matters at work. According to Gilda’s Club Westchester “one way men find comfort and support is through information and facts. Attendance at activities geared toward men has nearly doubled in popularity because we focus on news, facts and other information that’s uniquely important to our male members.”

Gilda’s Club Westchester, in White Plains, is a free cancer support community for anyone touched by cancer – men, women, children, family and friends. A range of men’s activities are offered including the Men’s Networking Group that meets on the third Wednesday of each month and the Men’s Prostate Cancer Group that meets the fourth Thursday of the month. A bimonthly group, “For Men Only,” is a workshop for men who have a woman in their life with cancer.

Says Martin, a member of Gilda’s Club Westchester: “It’s the critical information you just don’t get from doctors. The real life things that patients and spouses go through; it’s so valuable. Everyone who faces cancer desperately needs what Gilda’s Club offers.”

Because another member, Bob, was relatively young when he was diagnosed, it was important to him that, “Gilda’s Club Westchester was a place that I didn’t feel weird. I could talk to people who were in my shoes. Family and friends are great, but that support only goes so far. They’re not going through it, and I really needed to talk to people who were.”

Statistics show that about 29,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in this region annually. One out of two men and one out of three women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Nearly 43 percent of men in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Public attention has been focused on prostate cancer, which has led more men to get tested, and at earlier ages. One in six men or 200,000 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

These numbers indicate that there is a critical need for more male focused programming. Luckily, Gilda’s Club Westchester offers that and more. Gilda’s Club Westchester, 80 Maple Ave. in White Plains. 644-8844; www.gildasclubwestchester.org.

– Amy Mlodzianowski

Program Director at Gilda’s Club Westchester


Are You Eligible for Food Stamps?

As food prices continue to go up many are feeling the pinch. If you are finding it hard to make ends meet, there is a chance that you are eligible for food stamps and don’t know it. The Food Bank of Westchester is offering food stamp application assistance in English and Spanish free of cost. And group presentations or personalized house calls to senior/disabled residents are available on request. Contact Marilyn Rivera at 923-1100 or [email protected] to find out if you are eligible. Help could be a mere phone call away. The Food Bank for Westchester, 358 Saw Mill River Road, Millwood. www.foodbankforwestchester.org.

– Jean Sheff