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About Us

Myths, Facts, and FAQs
About Gilda’s Club

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Gilda’s Club is for women with ovarian cancer.

Fact: Gilda’s Club is for men, women and children with any type or stage of cancer – and their families and friends.

Myth: Gilda’s Club is for cancer survivors.

Fact: Gilda’s Club is for people dealing with cancer – whether they are currently living with cancer, have a family member or friend living with cancer, have had cancer, or have lost a loved one to cancer.

Myth: Gilda’s Club receives financial support from insurance companies.

Fact: Gilda’s Club raises approximately 75% of its operating funds from individuals who believe in our mission. The balance comes from corporations and foundations. Like most non-profit organizations, Gilda’s Clubs do not have guaranteed sources of income. Instead, they must raise all of their operating expenses each year.

Myth: Gilda’s Club programs are run by volunteers.

Fact: Support groups at Gilda’s Club Desert Cities are facilitated by contracted and paid licensed, specially trained and supervised mental health therapists (MFTs, LCSWs, PhDs). Our Healthy Lifestyle Classes (Yoga, Dance, Writing, etc.) are led by local professionals who donate their time. Doctors and other health professionals also donate their time to serve on our Medical Resource Council and provide lectures and workshops. Volunteers help with reception, office work and our numerous outreach and fundraising efforts.


Q: Who can join?

A: Anyone who has been touched by cancer. That includes men, women and children – patients, survivors, caregivers, family and friends, and the bereaved. Gilda’s Club brings people together who are experiencing similar situations related to living with cancer. Whether you’re looking for an understanding ear, a chance to laugh, insight, emotional support, artistic expression, exercise, education, or an informational resource, Gilda’s Club is the place to learn how to live with cancer.

Q: How do I join?

A: It’s simple. Call us at (760) 770-5678 to sign up for a New Member Meeting. This is an introduction to Gilda’s Club where you learn about our programs, and meet with a staff member to discuss which programs are right for you. We hold New Member Meetings every week, with day, evening and weekend options.

Q: How much do I pay for membership?

A: Nothing! Gilda’s Club is absolutely free of charge.

Q: What about the kids in my life?

A: When cancer happens, it happens to the whole family. Our Children and Teen program is called Noogieland. Noogieland serves kids ages 6 – 17 who have a parent or close relative with cancer, and children who have cancer themselves.
Noogieland is facilitated by a licensed therapist and offers kids the opportunity to have fun while connecting with other children and families who share their experience.

Q: Who founded Gilda’s Club?

A: Gilda’s Club was founded in memory of Gilda Radner by her husband, Gene Wilder, her psychotherapist, Joanna Bull, and her friends.

Our Gilda’s Club Desert Cities was founded in 2000 through the efforts of four women living at Del Webb Sun City. More information about our Co-Founders Paula Berke, Judy Wolfe, Phyllis Greene and Estelle Cooper can be found under the About Us section of this website.

Gilda’s Clubs and The Wellness Communities worldwide have now merged and are affiliates of the national Cancer Support Community. Gilda’s Club Desert Cities remains an independently operated 501c3 operated by a Board of Directors