weSPARK Cancer Support Center

Rating: 4.95 stars   487 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Human Services, Cancer

Location: 13520 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks CA 91423 USA

Mission: weSPARK is a special place dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients, their families and friends. weSPARK provides free of charge, a center where one can join with others to share their experience, strength, and hope. weSpark offers multiple services designed to heal the mind, body and spirit of all those lives that have been affected by cancer.
Target demographics: cancer patients and their loved ones
Geographic areas served: Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley
Programs: free support groups and a host of other therapeutic and holistic programs. These programs are designed to alleviate fear, anxiety, depression, isolation, and evoke feelings of relaxation and well-being.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 95-4785462
818-906-3022
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I attended a grief support group for over a year and a half at WeSpark. It was a tremendous help, and in fact a lifesaver as I coped with the death of my boyfriend after a five-year battle with liposarcoma. WeSpark was the only place in Los Angeles where I found a group that was specifically for spouses and partners who had lost someone to cancer. While their main focus as a non-profit is to provide support for cancer patients and caregivers, the sad reality is that many of us need help when the fight against cancer is not won. WeSpark provides a very important and specific service to those of us who are dealing with the aftermath of an oftentimes years-long fight for survival. The love and support I felt in the group from our counselor and from the other members was unconditional, amazing and incredibly important in my process of dealing with such a devastating loss. I don't know what I would have done without them. And the fact that the service was free was the difference in me being able to attend or not. They are an incredible, necessary resource for those of us whose lives are bent sideways by this terrible disease, and they are so deserving of additional funding to provide more services, as the community touched by cancer seems only to grow. The group I was part of just ended, in fact, after a year and a half, and while it was sad to say goodbye, it was nothing short of miraculous, how far we had all come along the path to recovery. My heart breaks, thinking of the new group waiting to start in our place, but I also know that they will find what they need at WeSpark - warm, loving, accepting and wise counsel as they navigate what is no doubt the most difficult challenge they have ever faced.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own life and the lives of the other members of my group. It made a huge difference!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How accessible the services are, the variety of classes offered, and the warmth of the staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing! I don't know how they do it. I can't say enough about their kindness and understanding.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

GROW. The building is old and parking is limited, with handicapped access only available through one entrance. They need a new building desperately! And to be able to offer more programs.

Ways to make it better...

The only downside was how far I had to travel - I live near downtown LA, and WeSpark is in Studio City.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Room to grow!

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

After a year of fighting valiently my husband died from cancer in January. The word that kept coming to mind was surreal. Everyone else was living their lives, and mine had stopped. My adult children were in pain,, we were a close family,so I could not burden them.My friends were incredibly supportive but....it was only until I found WESpark that I was able to be with others who were walking in this strange place as well. Our therapist, friend and guide has made our meeting room at WeSpark a safe place to say the outrageous, weep and laugh.No explanations are necessary and the 10 in our group have formed a wonderful supportive bond. The free classes are a gift as well. I do not know where I would be without WeSpark.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The low key approach to making you feel welcome in such a time of stress whether you have lost a loved one, or you are fighting the disease. Everyone is kind , friendly and incredibly helpful.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

From the welcoming volunteers and paid staff from the moment you walk in the door to the terrific team of therapists that help you discover who you are after cancer has turned your life upside down.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

set up some other satellites in the surrounding communities to help others, and make sure they are self sustaining.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and in this journey I was referred to WeSpark. WeSpark has made the past year easier with all of the support and the programs that they provided to me. I have found everyone at WeSpark to be caring, knowledgeable, and well informed.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

is that I feel cared about. WeSpark has made this journey with cancer easier and is a journey that I never will have to do alone.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

and are the most caring and comforting individuals who have helped me deal with my cancer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

There is not safer place like WeSparks. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had the operation to remove the cancer. I felt the rug was pulled out from underneath me. My head was spinning and I didn't know how to heal. I made appointments and sometimes went daily to WeSparks for 2-4 months. Eventually, I could see again and trust and start to move forward. There is no safer place than WeSparks.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

myself and my daily life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it bigger and offer more services day and night.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fact that it is open to the public and I can still go there.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open more centers and serve more people.

Ways to make it better...

I found out about the organization sooner, before I was diagnosed.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the physical size.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the staff understood what I was going through more than I did at the time.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I came to WeSPARK througth a recomendation from a friend, who like myself lost a wife to breast cancer. I have nothing but praise for what this organization has done for me in support of my grieving process. Thank you very much for the wonderful facilitator who guides our group of men and women going to similar experiences and help us though this very difficult time in our lives. I would not miss any one of our sessions for any reason. I also should point aut that other personnel in the center have always been an inspiration to me and made my live easier. Thank you very much. Andrew

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful and carring

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

There has not been anyone close in my life who has shared their battle with cancer. What I knew about cancer was more rumor than fact, and TV show versions of an emotional death more geared for an Emmy run than the facts of true cancer survival. Then this April I received the drastic news about myself. WeSpark in Studio City, CA not only educated me on cancer, cancer survival, and calmed my fears, WeSpark gave me outlets to express what I was going through and an avenues to meet many others in a safe and loving environment. WeSpark has been outstanding and helping me coupe with the disease, the emotions, the loss finances, family, and even a cut hat when the hair fell out. At WeSpark your not a cancer survivor only - you are part of a loving family and a place you can forget you're different from many others.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Ways that words fail to express but my heart and soul knows is healing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be extremely proud at the results I would see day in and day out and I would be honored.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the unconditional love and support by staff and volunteers

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

FANTABULOUS, always available, always nice and up-lifting, and most of all understanding

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy a new building with more room and parking and serve and support many more cancer patients and survivors on a daily basis. Even more classes and events could be offered.

Ways to make it better...

WeSpark could get more donations and get a bigger facility.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

room to grow as the building is old, and the parking limited - very limited. This can restrict how many people this great organize can help.

One thing I'd also say is that...

WeSpark is VERY deserving to be pointed out as a great support and cancer awareness organization. I don't know what I would have done without WeSpark.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I am a two time breast cancer fighter. Recently I joined weSpark after a friend recommended a tai-chi class she ws taking (from Mel). I was in serious need for help in focusing, fighting depression, regaining energy and hope. Although it's been only a month, I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it's been so far. The facility is comfortable, enviting and homey. Staff and members are welcoming with open arms (for hugs) and warmth. During my treatment journey I resisted organized support, thinking I can do it alone, but I feel differently now. The class is changing my attitude. I look forward to our meetings twice and week and I hope to never stop. It is the best thing that happened to me in a very long time. Ilana

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the availability of the tai-chi class, helping me fight depression.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure it stays forever, that the facility is well maintained and there is adequate staff.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The welcoming and warmth of members. The expertese of the tai chi teacher and the supportive attitude of the group towards a new person.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Warm, supportive and up beat. The person who did the in-take interview was extremely professional.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be helping many people, expand its resources, have more classes and informative meeting, particularly related to recent research in the area of cancer, do more educational work.

Ways to make it better...

If the room in which we learn tai chi was bigger

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding. IN order to maintain and grow, funding must be stable and available so that members can count on support being there.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am glad I found this place. It is changing me.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

WeSpark is a great cancer support center, especially with the wide variety of different programs offered to not only cancer patients, but family and friends as well. Friendly environment and informative staff. It is a great place to discuss personal issues regarding cancer; with the various support group discussions, relaxing techniques offered for (mind, body and soul). I've learned to manage my concerns and anxiety in a much more productive way.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Listening to other people's hardships which made me realize I'm not alone in this fight.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Front desk volunteers, directors of different programs.

Ways to make it better...

I had known earlier while receiving chemotherapy that WeSpark was available.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Donations for money, furniture, mats for Yoga classes.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The support group for grown children who have lost a parent has really helped my daughter. We haven't found another group like it. Groups seem to be for either spouses or younger children (not grown ones). WeSpark has something for everyone. It's a wonderful place for those suffering from cancer and those, like myself, who have lost a spouse to cancer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter had a place to talk about her loss.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It could offer services to many more people and have a bigger facility. They have many activities and could have more.

Ways to make it better...

If there had been another group for grown children at another time. Maybe a different day or a group later in the evening. When you work late you can't make an early group. Have 2 groups would give you a choice and allow more people to receive help.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

After going through treatment for Stage IV tonsil cancer, I was having a difficult time readjusting to my new life. I found WeSpark in December 2007. I tried several different programs that WeSpark offerred but the best program for me was the Post Treatment Group. I attended the first session and was at first very uncomfortable as I was the only male in the group. At first I thought just get me through the first meeting and not come back the following week. However the group welcomed me with open arms and ended up actually looking forward to every Tuesday night for the next ten months. Pamela always conducted a great session. I could have not made it through my recovery without this group. I have and will always recommend anyone going through the Cancer journey to look for support at WeSpark.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the caring staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

GREAT!!!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help more people.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-12-01

Was this review helpful?