History

Gilda's Club is named in honor of comedian Gilda Radner who was best known for her work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. When describing the experience she had at a Los Angeles cancer support center, Gilda dreamed that such places could be made available for people living with cancer and their friends and families everywhere. Gilda died from ovarian cancer in 1989. But today, her spirit lives on in every Gilda's Club.

Founded by Joanna Bull, Gilda's cancer psychotherapist and Gilda's husband, Gene Wilder, along with Joel Siegel and other friends of Gilda Radner, the first Gilda's Club opened its signature red door in New York City in 1995. Since that time, 22 additional clubhouses have opened.  Many members attest to the fact that Gilda's Club has helped change their lives by restoring control and enabling them to plan their own emotional and social support, thus strengthening and enriching the entire family.

In 2009, the headquarter offices of Gilda’s Club and The Wellness Community joined forces to become the largest provider of psychosocial cancer support worldwide and have extended their reach to even more people affected by cancer. The combined organization, called the Cancer Support Community, is the largest employer of psychosocial oncology support professionals, advancing the idea that psychosocial care is as important as medical care in the face of a cancer diagnosis.Click here to view the press release about this integration.