By Belinda Paulicin, DSW, LCSW-QS, CBHCMS
With every transition from the old year to the new year, many take inventory and assess if it was a good or bad year. During this period, we focus on memories of the year 2019 and look ahead with anticipation to the year 2020. The year 2019 came with ups and downs, old and new, good and bad, successes and failures, and gains and losses. We pause to remember the members that are no longer with us and the members who continue to live with cancer, and we celebrate with the members who completed treatment and moved on to survivorship.
It is now the year 2020, the dawning of a new decade. Some hail it as the year of clarity, and others call it the year of perfect vision. Let us march into this new decade facing the reality of life’s imperfect and messy ways, and finding peace, acceptance, and joy. May we choose to enter this new decade with renewed intensity, and a determination to press forward with optimism, walking in a spirit of hope, intention, and fearlessness.
In 2020, we will focus on programming that provides tools to build resilience in the face of life challenges. These programs will specifically deal with coping with cancer and its impact on the mind, body, and spirit. We will empower members with the knowledge they need to choose the right treatment options and will strengthen our members' natural gifts by creating opportunities to use their talents and abilities to further the mission. We will continue to infuse our clubhouse culture with support and empowerment, and members will continue to have an opportunity to build this community and make a difference in the lives of others impacted by cancer.
Through our “Each One, Reach One” campaign, each member can make a difference by assisting others in similar situations. Finding meaning during a cancer diagnosis will keep cancer patients connected and focused on making a difference so that no one faces cancer alone. Every member can become engaged in the mission by joining the ranks and partnering with Gilda’s Club South Florida. Whether it is by attending a support group, sharing your story, receiving support, or providing support to someone else, you can make a difference.
In 2020 we seek to build a community that extends outside of the clubhouse walls and reaches as many members as possible. Through technology, we will expand our reach to individuals who can’t access our clubhouse due to being homebound and want to remain connected. When cancer takes a turn for the worse, we want to let our members know we are still there, and they are still a part of the community. Family and friends of those impacted by cancer will find support, as they provide solace and assistance to their loved ones. We will create a safe space where they can recharge and find renewed strength to take on the role of caretakers.
We will expand our healthy living program, which allows every member to strengthen existing healthy living habits and develop new ones. This program will meet the physical health needs through exercise and nutrition as well as the emotional and spiritual needs through mindfulness and meditation practices. Because cancer patients deal with matters that are beyond their locus of control, yet must face them with strength and courage, it is important for us to equip them with the skills, resources, and tools to face and manage cancer. Our qualified staff will work with members so they understand that although we can’t control our thoughts, we can learn to understand them without attachment and find release.
As we start the new year, we do so in partnership with our members. As members provide feedback and share their ideas for new programs and activities, we will listen. Members continue to build this community by providing support and sharing knowledge with others impacted by cancer. Every member’s footprint makes an impact and gives us purpose as we move forward. Our vision is clear and focused on one hope: reaching the place where no one faces cancer alone. May we hold on to those things that keep us hopeful, and may we continue to build a community of support and encouragement.