Gilda Radner, most famous for her work as an original cast member of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, started her career in Toronto with the Second City. Between 1975 and 1980, she created many famous SNL characters, including personal advice expert Roseanne Roseannadanna, “Baba Wawa”, (the original parody of Barbara Walters) and Emily Litella, an elderly hearing-impaired woman who gave angry and misinformed editorial replies on Weekend Update. In 1978, Gilda Radner won an Emmy Award for her work on the show, and in 1980 she wrote and stared in the Broadway show, Gilda Live!
In 1986, after filming several movies and marrying her husband Gene Wilder, Gilda was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. In her book It’s Always Something, Gilda describes her experience with cancer, and how important finding a community to learn from and share with was to her. Through her participation in a social and emotional support community, Gilda describes regaining her life back outside of the hospital, and instilling both hope and the sense of belonging that was lost during her cancer treatment.
Gilda Radner passed away in 1989, but her contribution to those affected by cancer did not. In her memory, Gilda’s Club Worldwide was established in New York City, which has helped communities all across North America benefit from support groups, cancer education, and social activities. In 2009 Gilda’s Club Worldwide partnered with The Wellness Community, which combined the knowledge, resources, and expertise of two organizations dedicated to psychosocial oncology into one: The Cancer Support Community.
The Friends of Gilda’s Society Nova Scotia is inspired by Gilda’s story, and the success of other Gilda’s Clubs in Canada and across the United States. Our goal is to is to become affiliated with The Cancer Support Community and open a Clubhouse here in Nova Scotia.