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July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

I recommend weSPARK's support services to all persons affected by cancer. The staff is extremely supportive and the environment welcoming and warm.

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

it could expand nationally and helps thousands and thousands of people affected by cancer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

I contacted and became involved with Wespark shortly after being diagnosed with cancer of the right tonsil in January, 2009. In a few days I had undergone, or rather begun, a transformation in my self-perception. I had seen myself as a healthy and physically fit man. Suddenly, I became a man with an aggressive tumor, faced, as was my family, with intensive treatment. When I contacted Wespark, the Program Director, in response to my statement that I needed to talk to people who really understood cancer and treatment beyond being supportive said, "We do speak a different language here." Wespark has provided me with exactly the level of understanding and caring I have needed. Wespark is small, community-based, intimate and emotionally accessible. I have learned many things there and felt much love and humanity through its' groups and workshops. Now that I am "post-treatment," I see Wespark as a place where I can continue to get understanding, and where I can be of service to others.

The Great!

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

In the loyalty and consistency of involvement of its many clients.

Ways to make it better...

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

I know nothing about the organizational matters of Wespark, at the moment. I am at the receiving end of services. From this perspective, there is nothing I would change.

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

The warmth and professionalism of the staff and volunteers.

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

Note my comment above.

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

Open more small, intimate facilities in more locations.

Ways to make it better...

My experience cannot have been better. And I know what to look for. As a psychotherapist I've run outpatient programs and led groups for over 30 years!

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

Continuing an effective level of funding in difficult financial times.

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

Wespark has been there to help me through the greatest crisis in my life!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009

I am relatively new to WeSPARK, but not too new to rave about the organization!! The caring staff and the wonderful services they provide are amazing! From early in the A.M through the evening, there are individual and group actvities...to name a few: yoga [all kinds], tai chi, and creative writing, stretching and jewelry making classes, individual qi gong, reiki, guided meditation and energy healing sessions available to survivors and their families at no cost. The center has a homey, comfortable atmosphere, where a basket of fresh fruit is available. Initially, i was hesitant to go to the center, but because i had heard so many people i respected in the cancer community recommend it, i dragged myself there, protesting all the way. fortunately, the center is close to home, and before i could turn around, i found myself in the lobby, awaiting my intake interview. the woman i met with was compassionate, welcoming and "normalized" my experiences. She explained what the center offered and how it came to be--all very impressive! The staff at the "front desk" are kind, considerate, thoughtful and ALWAYS make me feel welcome. They will call and advise if a cancellation has created an opportunity for me to have a session that has become available! how's that for "personal" service?!! This organization is founded on the basic principles of providing help in all sizes and shapes. There is a lovely outdoor area where one can relax, and an inviting kitchen completely stocked w/ goodies which one is encourage to partake. To date i have only had the 1:1, individual services. i would rate each and every one OUTSTANDING!!!!! i have entered the center more often than not drained and exhausted from the ravages of chemotherapy. i have consistently left feeling not so alone, and always rejuvenated by the experience of the staff and the setting. It is my pleasure to give this center AN EXCELLENT rating, and i encourage any and all to make use of their many varied services.

The Great!

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

staff and activities

Ways to make it better...

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

n/a

More feedback...

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

everything

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

OUTSTANDING

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

REAch more people!!!

Ways to make it better...

n/a

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

n/a

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

n/a

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 29, 2009

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July 29, 2009

If you're a cancer patient or a caregiver, weSPARK is the place for you. All of your needs can be met - physical and emotional. There is yoga and Tai Chi. There are numerous meditation classes, and creativity is seen to through creative writing, jewelry making, collage making, even drumming circles. It's wonderful to be busy, but the main point is that you'll find many people that lift your spirits and to share ideas with. It's hot!

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

befriending many others who mirror and share my experiences.

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

greatly publicize itself in order to maximize its potential.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 29, 2009

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July 29, 2009

"Wespark" has been extremely helpful to me during my time of grief. I love attending my Thursday evening grief support group. I am very thankful to WeSpark because I have other people to talk to about what I am going through regarding losing my son to cancer. Our (2) therapists are loving, kind giving, serving women: Sharon and Tara. Also, Lenora is a wonderful friendly receptionist/office worker. WeSpark is an absolute necessity to the Santa Clarita Valley Community.

The Great!

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

the many people in my support group who have been helped in recovering from the loss of a loved one to cancer and getting their lives back on track.

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

helpful, friendly, serving, kind and compassionate!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 29, 2009

more

July 29, 2009

weSPARK has helped both my wife, a cancer patient, and myself a caregiver. They provide all the possible services we can use never asking for a cent. They do constantly let us know of new activities we can participate in at their two locations in the Los Angeles area. They are wonderful people always willing to help and direct us to services elsewhere if they cannot provide to meet our needs. Truly an organization that does exactly what is needed by cancer patients and their caregivers and family members.

The Great!

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

Helping individuals get through major issues even when helping several at a single session with nobody being left out of the process.

Ways to make it better...

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

Not change a thing.

More feedback...

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

Always caring and helpful.

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

Friendly and more than helpful.

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

Server so many more people at so many more locations.

Ways to make it better...

I can't think of any improvements except maybe to provide some added activities not currently being used that I might want to participate in.

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

Size is an issue and I wish they could spread out to more areas than their current locations.

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

The people are caring and great and will even go out of their way to see if there are problems if you miss a scheduled session that you normally attend.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 27, 2009

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July 27, 2009

WeSpark has been able to renew my life, to get me started back on track to full and product full life, Thanks to Staff, Voluntiers and Guest

The Great!

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

My life and other guest in my group and others.

Ways to make it better...

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

keep it as is.

More feedback...

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

Programs and working with peares

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

Great, Helpfull, caring.

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

get new ficilities, expand, aquire additional staff. thus able to increse visibality and povide help to more cancer patintes in need.

Ways to make it better...

thete is no IF

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

as with any similer organtion. Getting the additional funds to grow, more space, progrems etc.

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

Thank You We Sprak for helping me and my family. Bless You all

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 27, 2009

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July 27, 2009

7/26/2009 To whom it may concern: After being discharged from the hospital in late August 2008 I was very luck to be introduced to the weSpark Cancer Support Center in Sherman Oaks CA. In the middle of August 2008 I was informed by my doctors that I had Phase IV non small cell lung cancer that had metastasized into bone cancer. I was devastated by the news because there were no previous signs of the disease. I was told by my Oncologist that if I was lucky I could live 5 years and that was the fact of the matter. He emphasized that I would have difficult choices to make in the process and that I couldn’t be guaranteed anymore than a relatively decent quality of life depending on how I reacted to the prescribed treatments of chemo therapy and radiation treatments. While I was in the hospital I was tested from top to bottom and they had prescribed titanium rods be inserted into both my femurs to reinforce what was described to me as hips, pelvis, sacrum, spine and knees that had been eaten by the cancer so extensively that the cortex or hard outer surface of the bones was gone. I was told I was fortunate that my legs hadn’t just collapsed and that the simple action of jumping off of a street curb could have shattered my hips and pelvis. This would have spread the cancer throughout my body in the shattered pieces as well as rendering me a virtual cripple. I began chemo therapy and radiation treatments simultaneously. I underwent 24 radiation treatments in a row and was given chemo every 21 days for 6 sessions, every 28 days I was given a bone repair drug called Zometa. The side effects from all of this left me nauseous, weak and disoriented. I was constantly angry at my situation and felt I had been dealt a bad hand in life. If it was not for the help and support of my wife and her urging me to attend weSpark and get involved with a support group I would probably not have made the recovery I have made and am currently enjoying. weSpark put me in a group of like patients in various stages of recovery and treatments and I soon learned I was not alone. The group is structured and led by a qualified counselor who lets us in the group speak freely about our feelings, cares and concerns. I have been greatly relieved at being able to not only receive help and direction from the other people in the group but to also give help and direction to those around me. All in all it’s a situation I cannot afford to miss on a weekly basis and when my schedule does conflict, I do miss the interaction and positive results of attending. The weSpark Cancer Support Center also has afforded me the opportunity to be involved in many other activities all free of cost and or obligation such as, Guided Imagery, Tai Chi, Reiki Healing, Yoga on several different levels depending on your specific level of ability, Acupuncture, Guest Speakers, Crafts and Hobbies. I cannot say enough about the courteous staff of professionals and volunteers at the center who make your ability to attend these functions seamless and simple in an otherwise confusing world of Doctors appointments, treatments, and days following treatments with side effects. In order to be able to change an appointment or function to another day without complaint or fuss helps make the experience easy. There are no other groups available to me that can completely fill my needs like the staff and organization of weSpark. Thank you for letting me participate in this search for great non-profits, weSpark will always get my vote. Best Regards, Francois Wilkinson

The Great!

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

All the faces of those attending weSpark functions. I cannot recall anybody leaving a function at weSpark for the worse.

Ways to make it better...

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

Continue on the curent path for sucess.

More feedback...

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

The interaction with like patients in a non clinical environment. It's like sitting in your own living room while you are at weSpark.

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

Kind, responsive, attentive to our needs, honest in their evaluations of our situations without being callous or insensitive.

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

Globalize it's model and change the world we know in regards to how we see and deal with this horrible disease. The medical community isn't ready to recognize a lot of what is going on out there as ways to treat cancer or it's symptoms. weSpark does.

Ways to make it better...

WeSpark had access to the funds to help them grow and offer more to the clients who attend. As usual it's the amount of money any organization has that ultimately defines their operations. The people at weSpark who run the day to day functions are great.

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

Again, FUND RAISING!!

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

I've said it all.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 26, 2009

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July 26, 2009

I have gotten so much from this Cancer Center and want to thank everyone involved. I went to the WeSpark Center after I saw a flyer and started with a group. I had gone back to work part time after my 5th Cancer Surgery. I was laid-off and told it would be for 2 months. It turned out to be forever. I started to attend more free classes from Jewelry/Beads to Meditation. I have learned what a strong survivor I am and techniques to guide myself through my Cancer progression. I would have stayed at home sorry for myself if I had not taken the step towards my recovery and even getting my self esteem back. This organization really gives back to its community in a big way.

The Great!

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

I meet a young lady that also has been going thru Cancer and I see the results in her as well as myself. We get together and talk about the positive things to bring into our lives to make us better.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would keep the same people they have in place ad get a larger space for the Santa Clarita Location.

More feedback...

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

All of the variety of classes to better my health in all aspects.

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

So professional and GREAT!

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

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could grow out to more communities and start helping people who are battling cancer and chemo and their caregivers who go thru the battle with them. They could also get more programs for the patients.

Ways to make it better...

Th WeSpark Cancer Support Center in Santa Clarita needs more room. We are cramped when there is Yoga Classes. They need a bigger space for the growing new patients.

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

Money in my opinion is the biggest challenge since it is a non-profit organization this year has been especially tough to get donations. They need some financial help to keep the programs going and maybe have more.

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

This organization was started by a woman who saw a need for this kind of place for people with cancer to meet others and learn about themselves and techniques to get thru their struggles with Cancer (any kind of cancer).

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 25, 2009

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July 25, 2009

I joined weSparks/Santa Clarita in Jan. 2009. I have been a breast cancer survivor sense 2004. I came across an article in the local newspaper with weSparks information and decided it was time I started taking care of myself, so I made the call. Tara and Lenora made me feel so welcome I decided to try the post treatment group. Ever sense that first meeting miracles have been happening in my life. I am also a polio survivor from the age of 3 years and was experiencing new weakness in my arms and legs. I had been trying for years to get a proper diagnosis when a women at the meeting gave me a name of a doctor that might be able to help me. After 6 MRI's, EEG's which lasted three hours and other nerve conduction tests I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome. I was able to go thru all those grueling test because of the training I received from weSparks. The Kundilini Yoga breathing, Guided Meditation, Relaxation techniques, Reikki treatments and the support of the wonderful friends that I have made at weSparks. All their help got me thru those test. I also was invited to a nutrition class where I have learned to cook wonderful healthful dishes for my family. Because of weSparks and their support I am able to accept all the challenges life gives me one day at a time. Thank you, weSparks I am grateful to be a survivor. Charmaine King

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

Meeting all the wonderful caring people. Finally getting the instructions for a happy and healthy life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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