About Gilda's Toronto
Gilda’s Toronto is a registered charity that is making an important difference for cancer patients, their families and friends in the Greater Toronto Area. It is one of 175 members of the Cancer Support Community (CSC), the largest professionally led non-profit network of cancer support worldwide, which delivers more than $50 million in free support services to patients and families.
Gilda’s Toronto has often been referred to as “the missing link in the cancer care system.” ~ Patrick J. Gullane, MB, FRCSC, FACS, FRACS (Otolaryngologist, University Health Network).
Gilda’s Toronto is named after legendary comedian Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live fame, who died of cancer in 1989. While in treatment in the mid-80’s, Gilda visited a cancer support community in Los Angeles where she found others going through a similar experience to hers and she drew strength and comfort from that supportive environment. It was Gilda’s hope that “such support communities” be available to anyone touched by cancer so no one would have to face cancer alone.
What We Do
The impact of cancer is not only physical but deeply emotional. Gilda’s Toronto is a community of support where people facing the fear and uncertainty of a cancer diagnosis, personally or for a loved one, can find strength in others who share their experience.
The supportive and educational programs at Gilda’s Toronto are an essential component of a complete cancer care plan and a complement to medical treatment. Those who seek support in this community are embraced as “Members”.
Since 2001, Gilda’s Toronto has improved the quality of life for more than 12,000 Members experiencing cancer-related stress, to restore a sense of control, redefine hope, and reduce stress and isolation during and after cancer treatment for improved quality of life. All programs are provided free of charge so there is no financial barrier to accessing support in this community.
Today, with the added worries related to COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing, Gilda’s Toronto operates virtually, connecting with Members online to deliver programs that include education, physical activity, and support groups from the comfort of their own homes. This thriving virtual community has become for some, the only connection to emotional support, the only outlet for physical exercise and the only place to meet others who can relate to their feelings of isolation, fear and anxiety.