Andy's Story

Andy Osen and his boys



In January of 2010 I was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, aka kidney cancer. That same week, my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Needless to say, this one-two punch was a shock to my family and I.


Fortunately, I decided to reach out to Gilda’s Club of Madison shortly after receiving my diagnosis – even before deciding whether to proceed with a biopsy to confirm the initial diagnosis. I joined the Young Survivors group and never looked back. Even in my first meeting I recognized the value of being with other members with a cancer connection. Time in a safe environment with people that understand your challenges can be incredibly helpful and healing. Family tries but can’t truly understand unless they have been there. In group I could relate, offer ideas or suggestions on dealing with challenges, or simply listen.


Gilda’s Club members develop deep, lasting bonds. Even now, 5 years after the surgery that successfully removed my tumor, fellow Gilda’s Club members are among my closest friends. Your life may never be the same after having cancer, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can gain wonderful friendships and a valuable new perspective on what’s important in your life and what isn’t.


When you consider giving to Gilda’s Club of Madison, please keep this in mind: There is absolutely no membership fee and no charge to members or participants for the support, education and community activities provided by the organization. Also, all funds raised locally stay here to benefit the local community.