Personal Experiences

Cancer Therapist

" Kathy Gurland was referred to me by my husband's doctor when my husband was gravely ill and stuck in a NYC hospital. He (and I) very much wanted to bring him home, but were completely overwhelmed by the details involved in getting him out of the hospital and finding the right solutions for home care. We were desperate. When I called Kathy, she responded immediately. To my relief, she took over with confidence and assurance, and began navigating the circuitous route of extricating my husband from the hospital and arranging hospice care, and at the same time providing just the right balance of love, support and understanding during this very difficult time. Happily, my husband was quickly removed from the hospital and was taken home. This may sound simple, but it was not a small challenge, and all the details were completely and efficiently handled by Kathy. While my husband passed on shortly thereafter, the services Kathy provided enabled him to be lovingly cared for in the comfort, dignity and familiarity of his own home, surrounded by his family. This meant a great deal to all of us. I have continued to be so very grateful. She provided us with an incredibly valuable service -- one that I would highly recommend to anyone in a similar situation. She is like having a family member in the picture who knows just what to do, and does it -- with love, understanding and competence.
I love you, Kathy. "

Dez R. - Artist/Designer, NYC

" ' We can't rule out ovarian cancer.' Those were the scary words that had my head completely spinning. I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t think straight and since I had never dealt with something like this before, I had no idea on the next steps to take.

Thank goodness for Kathy Gurland, she was my savior during this difficult time. She pointed me in the right direction. She had me ask the doctors questions that I would have never thought of. Kathy showed the caring and compassion for me like I was a family member. She took the time to make sure I had the right guidance so that when I did go into the surgery, I felt that I could accept whatever happened. Thank goodness I did not end up having cancer, but I truly could not have made it through such a scary time had it not been for Kathy. "

Suzanne, 43 - New York, NY

" Through Kathy’s knowledge, she ensures that one has thought through all possibilities and options before making any healthcare decisions. She is dedicated to helping individuals feel comfortable with their decisions about what is right for them. And because she personally has been affected by the trauma of cancer striking her own family, she understands well the emotional challenges that it presents, in addition to the physical ones. "

R. Davis - International Advisor for Humanitarian Disaster Assistance

" Kathy helped me out when my Uncle was in the hospital and felt trapped. He wanted to go home to die more than anything and couldn't communicate this to his family, as they wanted him to try a few more treatments. He became desperately unhappy and felt that staying in the hospital was worse than death. I called Kathy and she instantly gave me tools. She informed me that my Uncle had the right to a hospice consult, but she suggested that it would be more meaningful if my Uncle made his own arrangements while he could still control his own destiny. Self-empowerment was very important to his well being she taught me. When I informed him of his rights, he instantly felt vindicated. He knew he had rights, he just didn't know how to exercise them. With Kathy's help, now he did. He self-advocated for a consult and the hospice coordinator arranged for him to go home with full aid.

By talking with Kathy, I empowered myself with the knowledge that could help him. And, I gave him the last and final gift -- practically the only gift I could give him -- I granted him his one last wish to go home. And, for that, I am eternally grateful. "

Lori Sash-Gail - Professional Photographer, NY

" As my therapist, Kathy has changed my life. It’s that simple. I first came to Kathy when I lost my brother-in-law to Leukemia (at the age of 29). I became very anxious and started to have panic attacks. I didn’t know how to deal with his untimely death, nor with the grief of my husband. She opened my eyes and made me realize that everyone grieves differently. She also helped me see that you can survive a loss, no matter how big or small. You can make it.

Through my journey in life, I have never crossed paths with anyone like Kathy. She is honest and compassionate and very dedicated to her work/mission. She is a master at helping you fit all the pieces together…

I think the most important lesson I have learned during my time with Kathy is that you must be grateful everyday. If you are able to find gratitude, you will find inner peace and contentment. My life is much richer and fuller thanks to Kathy and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such an extraordinary person. "

With eternal gratitude,
Debra S. - Freelance Producer, NYC

Professional Opinions

Cancer Caregiver

" As a Medical Director, I worked with Kathy Gurland on a daily basis for three years. She is caring and utterly competent, but her tenacity in pursuit of the patient's needs is a rare gift. I would want no other on my side. "

Richard Dundy, MD, Hospice Medical Director, NYC

" Well, I learned about the services of a patient navigator from Kathy, and I have NEVER looked back! I find that I can completely turn over to her the role of anticipatory guidance about their illness, their loved-one’s illness, and the life activities that need to be carefully planned. My job then is focused on treating the specific illness and the behavioral repercussions.

Patients find immediate relief when they meet the private personal navigator who knows what they’re up against. The unknown soon becomes more known, and fear is lessened. Physical and mental healing both benefit immediately from this arrangement. Then the practical benefits of helping to plan for the future kick in. How can it be that it is not standard procedure to refer to a personal navigator? It’s a sad reflection on our absence of a real health-care system in this country. "

Jerry Clements, MD, Village Family Practice, Village Travel Medicine
30 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10011

" PEG’S group offers a revolutionary service that will help those dealing with cancer in an innovative and absolutely essential way, greatly lessening the challenges they face and the negative impact on their quality of life.

Kathy is a highly compassionate and dedicated professional who draws upon her extensive career experience, life experience, and innate wisdom, in her work with people affected by cancer. She has not only focused her skills and great energy to the field of psychosocial oncology but has gone far beyond existing practices to create change in the course of cancer care. "

Natalie Schnaitmann, LCSW.
Director of Operations, Biller Patient and Family Resource Center; City of Hope, CA.

" Having had the privilege of working with Kathy Gurland since 2000, in various capacities regarding the care of people with cancer and their families, I can say with confidence that there is no professional I would rather have guiding me or a loved one through the experience of cancer than Kathy. I also was a witness as Kathy guided her own sister Peggy through each step of her experience with cancer. Kathy’s research skills, constantly growing knowledge base, and clinical skills are unsurpassed in my experience of over 20 years as a professional in the field. It is with these skills, knowledge, clinical ability, and passion that Kathy will guide the clients of PEG’S Group in navigating their journey with cancer. "

Linda Stertz
LCSW, Psychotherapist, Hospice SW, Bereavement Counselor, NYC

" PEG’S Group offers a vital service at a time when it is most needed. Kathy's compassion, enthusiasm and tenacity only serve to enhance the services offered by PEG'S Group, and ultimately, the experience each of her clients will have. "


" Kathy Gurland's passion, commitment and understanding of psychosocial factors intertwined with her extensive medical knowledge are an assurance that PEG'S Group will be a comprehensive and supportive beacon for individuals affected by cancer as they define and determine their course of action. "

Joan Petralia Greenberg, LCSW-R
Adjunct Professor, NYU School of Social Work

" I have worked for Kathy Gurland in a clinical capacity and have seen her as altruistic, exceptionally dedicated, professional, and a consummate fighter. Kathy works for those she cares for, and cares for those she works for. "

JoAnn Nayer, RN
Certified Hospice and Palliative Care RN