When Peter M. Wege and The Wege Foundation made the lead gift to found the cancer-support community known as Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, Peter knew it was a good idea. Because both his parents had died of cancer, he knew that families of cancer patients need their own support network. But along with the other visionary thinkers who founded Gilda’s, Peter Wege had no idea it would become the overwhelming success it has in just ten years.

The busiest Gilda’s in the country with a schedule resembling a college catalogue, the founders’ dream to embrace all cancer patients and all the people who love them has happily come true. And, as you’ll see in this short video, “happy” and “smiling” and “laughing” are what the Grand Rapids’ Gilda’s is all about.

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Gilda’s Club is named in honor of Saturday Night Live comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Gilda dreamed that all people affected by cancer, as well as their families and friends, would have access to the same kind of emotional and social support that she received during her illness.

The club’s namesake Gilda Radner was the darling of America’s comedians until the day she died of cancer. Any legacy named for her simply had to be funny. And so Gilda’s in Grand Rapids makes sure that happens.