In 1982, Harold Benjamin, Ph.D. founded The Wellness Community (TWC) in California. At the center of TWC's program philosophy was Dr. Benjamin's Patient Active© Concept – "People with cancer who participate in their fight for recovery will improve the quality of their lives and may enhance the possibility of their recovery." In 2009, TWC joined forces with Gilda’s Club Worldwide, and the whole organization was renamed the Cancer Support Community.
The Wellness Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley was founded locally in 2004, becoming the only organization of its kind in our region. When TWC and Gilda’s merged in 2009, our name changed to the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley (CSCGLV). Although we are an affiliate of a global network, CSCGLV is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors, and all funds raised stay local to serve residents in the Pennsylvania Counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, and Northampton Counties, and Warren County, New Jersey. The benefit of the wider association is access to clinical trials of the headquarters’ Research and Training Institute as well as shared best practices with 55 fellow chapters.
The hallmarks of Dr. Benjamin’s philosophy remain today. People who see themselves as "Patient Active" become part of the fight for recovery along with his/her health care team. Being "Patient Active" is about feeling and acting empowered. People participate in the choices made about their treatment that can improve their quality of life, and perhaps enhance the possibility of recovery. This belief still drives our grassroots affiliate to continue providing the finest free quality professional emotional and social support in a homelike setting of help and healing.
The mission of the Cancer Support Community is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.
The Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley helps people affected by cancer actively engage in their health care, connect with others, reduce stress and isolation, and restore hope for a better quality of life.
"Cancer patients who participate in their fight for recovery, along with their healthcare team, will improve the quality of their lives and may enhance the possibility of their recovery."
To be the recognized regional leader for comprehensive programs of support, education and hope for persons affected by cancer (patients, family, friends and health care professionals).
- Many, many people recover from cancer.
- Cancer patients can benefit from sharing experiences and support with others, and need not be alone.
- Cancer patients can participate in their recovery along with their healthcare team.
- Family members and friends of an individual with cancer, including children, can also benefit from information and support.
- By reducing isolation, managing stress, and having hope, cancer patients can enhance the quality of their lives, positively affect their immune system, and gain strength in the fight for recovery.