No one should have to face cancer alone. Ever.
Thanks t o the efforts of my guest and dear friend and colleague, Kelly Harris, CEO of Gilda's Club and Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia, no one has to. Ms. Harris understands all too well what it's like to travel this journey of the unknown. Hoping this conversation will both inform and warm your heart.
Harris has the arduous task of steering the once-grassroots Cancer Support Center, which has since grown into a conglomerate support network with locations throughout the Delaware Valley.
CSC Philadelphia was once two organizations: the local branch of the Wellness Community and the local branch of Gilda’s Club in Warminster; both organizations provided similar cancer-support services and were part of large national networks.
After the two organizations began merging across the country, the Philly locations followed suit in 2013.
Harris started with Gilda’s Club in 2002, became its CEO in 2010, oversaw the merger and has helmed CSC since then.
Harris also manages the program directors for CSC’s five area locations in Philadelphia, Warminster, Abington, Doylestown and Langhorne.
She shares how there are support groups and programs for almost every different type of cancer. According to Harris, her and her team are constantly looking for input to meet the ever changing needs of all those they support both physically and emotionally.
Some of the programs are run by volunteers, other facilitators are compensated — all have the highest level of certification and training in their fields. Some of the volunteers have been with the organization since it opened as Gilda’s Club 10 years ago.
In total, the organization provides more than 150 programs each month for both children and adults.
Gilda Radner’s Legacy
Gilda Radner is best known as an original cast member of Saturday Night Live. As one of the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players,” she created loveable characters like Rosanne Rosannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner. Gilda was also one of the first participants in the Wellness Community and became one of its biggest advocates. She felt 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 help other people.” Sadly, Gilda’s cancer was diagnosed too late for effective treatment. Following her death, her husband (actor and comedian Gene Wilder), her psychotherapist Joanna Bull, and many of her friends founded an organization similar to the Wellness Community Gilda had loved. They called the organization Gilda’s Club because of Gilda’s tongue-in-cheek comment that having cancer in her life made her a member of an elite club to which she’d rather not belong.
For more information on Gilda's Club and it's supporting programs visit their website at https://cancersupportphiladelphia.org.
Dr. Yvonne Kaye
A survivor of the Second World War, Dr. Yvonne Kaye uses her experiences in working with people in emotional pain, grief and loss, believing in the spiritual power of humor as a healing tool.
Dr. Kaye has been in the field of human service for many years, encountering extraordinary people whose courage has amazed her. Her passion is offering enrichment in life, mentally and emotionally, to those who have no concept of their own creativity.
This weekly podcast will include everything from laughter roaring to covering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Anything goes.
Thank you to Colin Kaye for providing the musical soundtrack of our show!
To learn more about Dr. Kaye, visit https://www.yvonnekayewisdom.com
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