Our namesake, Gilda Radner, was one of the original cast members of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Throughout her time on the show, she created several enduring characters, including Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner.
When Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986 she quickly realized the importance of emotional and social support. After attending The Wellness Community in Southern California, Gilda envisioned places of participation, education, hope and friendship to be made available to men, women and children with all types of cancer and their families and friends. After her death in May 1989 her husband, Gene Wilder, and Joanna Bull - Gilda’s psychotherapist - founded the flagship Gilda’s Club in New York City.
Gilda’s Club South Florida, the second oldest Gilda’s Club affiliate, opened its doors in 1997 in memory of Christina Perez and Jennifer Masi. Christina passed away from breast cancer at the age of 29 and Jennifer at the age of 14 from a rare form of cancer. Both their families came together to open Gilda’s Club South Florida, with a shared vision of creating a “cancer support community.”
In 1999, Gilda’s Club moved to its current location – a historic home in downtown Fort Lauderdale overlooking the Tarpon River. Gilda’s Club South Florida currently has more than 4,500 adults and children participating in support groups, workshops, lectures, and social activities annually.
In 2009, Gilda’s Club Worldwide and The Wellness Community merged to become Cancer Support Community (CSC). Today, we provide the highest quality social and emotional support for everyone impacted by cancer through a network of more than 44 local affiliates, 170 satellite locations and online resources. While Gilda’s Club South Florida is an affiliate of CSC, we are a separate 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Being an affiliate allows us to share knowledge, research, resources, and ideas, but it does not mean that we share funding. Funds we raise here, stay here.