Merger set to provide top-notch cancer care

For the first time in either organizations history the American Cancer Society and Gilda's Club will combine forces to help community members deal with the hardships of cancer.

At a Thursday, June 24, announcement members of both organizations touted the importance of the merger and benefits ranging from improved services, increased efficiency and convenience and financial benefits.

We're so excited that what we're doing is keeping this great thing alive, said Robert Blackman, chairman of the board for Gilda's Club Capital Region New York.

Gilda's Club is located at One Penny Lane off of Wade Road in Latham and offers "social and emotional support" for cancer patients and their family.

Blackman said he is glad the research, data and information driven American Cancer Society can help increase the "breadth" and "scope" of available services for patients.

An enhanced medical research room with more information will be available at Gilda's Club with the help of the merger, he said.

"Our goal is one plus one equals three," he said, citing all of the hard work and vision put forth by both organizations.

Stuart Jones, an attorney and substantial donator Gilda's Club said he is thrilled at the idea of merging the two organizations.

"Cancer is my cause. It should be everyone's cause because it's an epidemic," he said.

He said no one should have to feel isolated after being diagnosed with cancer, and both organizations work hard to make people feel comfortable during the journey through cancer.

"This is a double win-win," he said. "We've got work to do, but we've got the people who can make it happen."

With the recent growth of those using services at Gilda's Club, around 300 percent in recent years and the increased number of baby boomers who are diagnosed with cancer it is vital to provide support for them and their families.

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