About Us

Our Mission

To ensure no one has to face cancer alone…

CancerPartners is a welcoming place that offers emotional, social and educational support for everyone impacted by cancer in the desert communities. People of all ages, with any type and stage of cancer, as well as their caregivers, family members and loved ones, can participate. They thrive in the nurturing environment and benefit from a full program that encompasses evidence-based, professionally led cancer support groups, exercise, nutrition and expressive arts classes, educational lectures and workshops, and social activities.

The goal of CancerPartners is to provide the social and emotional support that, according to the Institute of Medicine, is as important as medical care in cancer treatment. The program, based on scientific research, helps mitigate the psychosocial distress that comes with cancer diagnosis and treatment, including powerful feelings of loss of control, loss of hope, and unwanted aloneness. By actively participating in their fight for recovery, patients and loved ones minimize these unpleasant emotions, enhance the possibility of recovery, and improve their quality of life.

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The CancerPartners Community

CancerPartners offers a full program of emotional, educational, and social support as a complement to medical care for cancer patients and survivors as well as their caregivers, family members, and friends. Professionally led support groups, education, art and healthy lifestyle classes that include a nutrition program, and social activities are all available in the nurturing, home-like environment, at no cost to clients.

CancerPartners optimizes patient care by providing essential, but often overlooked, services including support groups, education and healthy lifestyle programs.

CancerPartners provides the highest quality emotional and social support in Riverside County.

Who was Gilda?

CancerPartners, originally Gilda’s Club, was named for comedienne Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame, and created because of her wish that no one face cancer alone. Gilda Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986. After her death in 1989, co-founders Joanna Bull and Gene Wilder began the process to launch the first Gilda’s Club in New York City.

Photo: NBC

Meet the Founders

In 1999, Judy Wolfe, Phyllis Greene, Paula Berke and Estelle Cooper, were personally touched by cancer. Each had a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer and experienced first-hand how difficult it was to find social and emotional support for themselves and their family, as well as making sense of the various treatment options available.

Together, they became the dynamic co-founders of Gilda’s Club Desert Cities, now CancerPartners. As professional women who had worked in social services and education, they knew the value of a support community at a time when patients and their families feel so terribly vulnerable and confused. CancerPartners is a place to go for answers, encouragement and emotional support, where others understand and can help with the daily challenges that only those living with cancer can comprehend.

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