No One Should Face Cancer Alone. That is the mission of the non-profit Cancer Support Community (CSC). It offers emotional support and hope via programs designed for cancer patients, cancer survivors, families, and their caregivers.
Although there have been significant advances in the treatment of cancer, CSC believes that there is nothing comparable to the inspiration, power, and companionship of community support.
CSC is the largest professionally led non-profit network of cancer support in the world delivering $50 million in free services. The organization offers, among other services, educational workshops, support groups, and yoga classes for every age group.
The non-profit has 190 locations around the world with fifty-two licensed affiliates and healthcare partnerships. CSC locations also provide compassionate care via digital and telephonic channels. This ensures that resource referrals and educational programs are offered to all individuals who are in need of those services.
About Gilda’s Club
The name Gilda Radna, the Saturday Night Live iconic figure, may not come to mind immediately upon seeing the reference to Gilda’s Club in connection with cancer support.
Gilda died of ovarian cancer in 1989. It was her wish that her husband, Gene Wilder, spread the news of her illness to help other cancer victims.
He not only fulfilled her wish but he also testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee in 1991 urging increased spending to fulfill the need for early detection of hereditary factors.
At the time of her illness, Gilda was not aware that her aunt, her cousin, and possibly her grandmother, had died of ovarian cancer. Gilda’s life may have been spared if she had been presented with this information. Ninety percent of ovarian cancers can be cured if diagnosed during the first stage. Otherwise, there is a rapid progression in later stages.
In addition, according to an Associated Press report, Wilder was instrumental in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s research program being named after Gilda. Wilder wanted to spread the word that testing for CA 125 is critical. A high level of the substance in the blood may be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Gilda’s Club Mission
The very first Gilda’s Club opened in New York City in 1995. Today its network consists of forty locally-funded and independent communities. The clubs are affiliated with the worldwide Cancer Support Community.
Gilda’s Clubs have a simple philosophy. The clubs provide social and emotional support that has led to improved health outcomes. The clubhouses have a healing environment where people exchange views and receive guidance from licensed health professionals. A truly one-of-a-kind program providing emotional and social support.
Gilda’s Club has three core principles:
- Free programs for everyone
- Helping cancer patients live fuller lives
- Providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere
Their motto: All Are Welcome