The Wellness Community was founded in California in 1982; the first Gilda's Club, in New York City in 1995. In July 2009, The Wellness Community-National and Gilda’s Club Worldwide joined forces to become the largest provider of cancer support worldwide. The combined organization is now known as the Cancer Support Community with our Headquarters based in Washington, D.C..
Our Miami affiliate opened in March 2002 as The Wellness Community-Greater Miami. In 2010, after the merger, we officially changed our name to the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (CSCGM) believing that this new name also better represents what we do.
Since opening, in Miami we are proud to have served more than 27,000 people affected by cancer. It is important to emphasize that each affiliate of the Cancer Support Community raises its own funds a separate 501c3 non-profit organizations and is governed by its local Board of Directors. CSCGM depends solely on grant funding, corporate and individual donations and special events, to provide these free cancer support services to patients and their loved ones.
Thus, all dollars raised in Miami, stay in Miami.
THE WELLNESS COMMUNITY AND GILDA’S CLUB – WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The Wellness Community
In 1982, Harriet & Harold Benjamin transformed the way our culture faces cancer. Dr. Benjamin’s wife Harriet was a cancer survivor. Because of her experience, Harold sought to create an organization that would provide social and emotional support to not only cancer patients, but also to families, friends, and caregivers. The Benjamins strongly encouraged psychosocial care because they believed in a strong correlation between emotional and physical well-being. Thus, the first facility of its kind, The Wellness Community (TWC), was founded in Santa Monica, CA as an outlet for those living with cancer to receive appropriate support.
Gilda Radner and Harold Benjamin
One of The Wellness Community’s first participants was legendary comedienne Gilda Radner and original cast member of the acclaimed television show, "Saturday Night Live", pictured here with Dr. Harold Benjamin. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986, Radner was hesitant to seek support from others. But after visiting the Community, she became one of its biggest advocates. In her words, it provided "a community for people who have cancer to come and play in, to make their lives better, to have an opportunity to help themselves and to help other people."
"Click here for the whole story about my best friend, Gilda Radner and my loving husband, Dick Zakheim" – Pam Zakheim CSCGM, Founder & President