The Gilda's Club Associate Board has not only been a great organization to be involved with, its also provided a source of healing for me. I lost my mom in 2016 to a six month battle with Leukemia. When she was diagnosed and admitted to Vanderbilt Hospital for aggressive treatment I dropped everything and lived with her at the hospital for about a month. During that time we would walk the hallways, talking with each other, hoping for the best, and letting each other know how much we loved one another. During that time, no matter how much encouragement and support I provided, there was one thing that I was unable to offer, a true understanding of what she was going through and feeling.
After my mom passed away with her family by her side, I knew I wanted to do something to honor her memory but did not know what. I am so thankful that I found the Gilda's Club (or was guided towards it). From the moment an associate of mine told me about Gilda's Club purpose and mission I knew it was the organization I had been searching for to be involved in to honor my mother. To see first hand how the members support each other, encourage each other, and are there for each other is truly inspiring. My only regret is that I did not know about it sooner so that I could have recommended my mother to be apart of it. From the first day I walked through the doors, there has never been a time I have not been greeted with a smile. From the staff, to the members, to the volunteers, the love and hope coming from this organization is truly amazing.
I can honestly say I have never had a desire to scale down a multi-level building before, but my mom would always say to enjoy life to the fullest and embrace new challenges. Therefore, I am embracing this one in honor of her.