Cancer patients and families find support at Gilda's Club in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Gilda's Club in Kansas City, Mo., is a resource for individuals and families touched by cancer. More than 20 Gilda's Clubs across the country are named in honor of Saturday Night Live comedian Gilda Radner.

Gilda's Club in Kansas City opened its doors in October 2011 thanks to the hard work and tenacity of its founder, Mary Linna Woods. The former nurse is quick to say she had the help of hundreds of volunteers, corporation and businesses who contributed their time, talent and cash donations to make it a reality.

Woods explained that her decision to open the club was in honor of her friend Anne Barker who was diagnosed with breast cancer and received wonderful support from the Gilda's Club in Nashville, Tenn.

"Four months before she (Anne Barker) died, I promised her I would get a Gilda's Club in Kansas City," said Woods.

The club is located at 21 West 43rd Street. Since opening its doors last year, Gilda's Club Kansas City has been growing every month. More than 200 people participate in programs and services at the club. There are support groups, pot-luck suppers, a special children's area and a variety of seminars on practical information for cancer patients and their families.

"We want people to feel like the club is their home away from home," said Woods. "We have a comfortable setting with comfortable chairs and bright colors," she added.

The red doors on the exterior of the building and inside are the signature red doors associated with every Gilda's Club.

A monthly calendar of events is available by visiting Gilda's Club online.

Everything is free and everyone is welcome.

"We want to make sure that no one goes through cancer alone," said Woods.

Their slogan captures their number one goal, "Cancer Support for the Whole Family, the Whole Time."

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