Stillwaters to take over cancer counseling services for Gilda’s Club

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WAUKESHA -- Gilda's Club is well known for providing help to cancer victims, but the organization is now the victim of tough economic times. They're announcing an effort to combine efforts with the large Waukesha-based group Stillwaters. A few cancer survivors tell us this news they're worried about what this merging means.

Cancer survivor Cyrilla Metzer remembers when she was given two weeks to live after her initial cancer diagnosis, but that was more than a year ago. She credits free yoga classes offered by Cancer Support Community, formerly known as Gilda's Club, at the Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay for helping her beat her diagnosis.

Those yoga classes will be ending thanks to Cancer Support Community (formerly Gilda's Club) being taken over by another group, Stillwaters. Stillwaters focuses on counseling. Stillwaters Rep. Theresa Reagan says, "Stillwaters Cancer Support Network has been around eighteen years, and we are the only organization in Wisconsin to provide professional counseling and emotional support to anyone affected by cancer."

Gelda's club fell on tough times in 2010 after their building in Shorewood flooded. A benefactor gave the club a half million dollars to keep its doors open. A spokeswoman for Gilda's Club says the downturn in the economy hurt its fundraising efforts and the group can't go on.

While many say they look forward to Stillwaters services, Cyrilla metzer says she will try to fundraise to keep her class going, and has already registered as a non-profit organization. She credits the class and its instructor for helping so many survive.

The official changeover to Stillwaters will take place at the beginning of the new year. An announcement about a location for counseling not only in Waukesha, but also on the northshore.