Gilda’s Club Quad Cities received new technology to help make support group a more immersive experience for those unable to attend in person. The organization emphasizes how important these groups are for individuals affected by cancer, providing a safe space to share emotion, stories, and support with others who can relate. One man in particular discussed his experience with the organization’s support group,
“They just make tolerating it easier — it’s hard to put into words you can’t put love into words,” Gilda’s Club member Mike Zeglin described, “It’s kind of a lonely feeling when you first get diagnosed with cancer.”
This is why Gilda’s Club Quad Cities works hard to ensure local cancer survivors have the support they need. A spokesperson from the organization explained, “If we learned anything through the pandemic we learned it can be extremely isolating.”
Support groups moved online during the pandemic and have since resumed in person; however, some individuals remain unable to attend in person whether that be for physical, psychological, or logistical difficulties. The organization has introduced a new camera system allowing participants joining via zoom to view the support group room from a 360 degree perspective — feeling as if they are right there, even from far away.
Mike Zeglin tries to attend support group in person whenever possible, but is grateful for the new technology. Despite the fear and anxiety associated with advanced pancreatic cancer, Zeglin tries to remain positive — and that’s all with the help of Gilda’s Club.
“Even though you know that you’re dealing with something that doesn’t necessarily have hope in it, there’s just hope in that fact that other people are dealing with something the same way.” Zeglin said, “I’m still here — I’m very grateful for that — I live every day like it’s my last, Gilda’s Club makes me able to do that.”