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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

weSPARK Cancer Support Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Counseling, Human Services, Mental Health

Mission: weSPARK Cancer Support Center enhances the quality of life for cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. weSPARK provides free programs and services, which alleviate the physical and emotional side effects of a cancer diagnosis.

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.

Community Stories

524 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Denise M.8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can’t express my gratitude enough for weSpark. WeSpark has helped my wife and I through some of the hardest times. My wife has been attending weSpark for at least five years and I’ve been going for three or so. Between the support groups and all the self-help workshops and one on one self-help sessions they just have so much. Not to mention the wonderful friendships that have been made. Connecting with people that know exactly what you’re going through when it’s hard to describe to friends outside the cancer community is so valuable. I volunteered to walk with weSpark clients and I must say I got more out of it than I gave. It’s truly a wonderful place that does so much good work.

bmbrown

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Charities that soothe, and heal, and bless lie scattered
at the feet of (wo)men like flowers. William Wordsworth

Like many people who receive a cancer diagnosis, one’s world turns completely upside down within a very short time. One week I was active in my life, working as an adjunct professor at a local community college, walking two miles a day through a tree-lined neighborhood, and taking care of my elderly mother. I had begun to get a pain in my right thigh and attributed it to the walking. One morning I woke up with the inability to urinate. Thinking that my problem was a urinary tract infection, I immediately drove to my physician. No UTI was detected, so I immediately went to the emergency room of a local hospital. The “fun” of catheters was experienced. I was dismissed after three days (with my very own personal catheter) with an appointment to see a gynecologist at the beginning of the week after. I was not worried and thought that the appointment would get to the bottom of my problem and my life would be back to normal soon. The news given at the appointment was surprising. “Surgery tomorrow,” Dr. Michael Lin calmly stated after my exam. (I had not had any surgery since I was an eight-year-old child when I had my tonsils removed.) From the City of Hope satellite office in Mission Hills, CA, he had me admitted to Providence Holy Cross Hospital. Again, I was not too concerned, thinking I would be in and out of the hospital and be back to my classes and life very soon. I walked to my hospital room not even noticing that I was on the oncology ward. When I woke up from surgery (removal of two cancerous tumors, complete hysterectomy), I finally realized the seriousness of my health condition. I was diagnosed with stage lll ovarian cancer with a 20% chance of survival if I didn’t follow the six rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation. I was dismissed from the hospital, nine days later and over fifteen pounds lighter. While recovering from the surgery (eight weeks), I received a call from the American Cancer Society. Caregivers from the Veteran’s Administration helped me care for my mother as I healed. They told me about the "Look Good, Feel Better" program at a local healing center. I knew nothing about WeSPARK Cancer Support Center until I shuffled through their doors. As William Wordsworth proclaimed, “The Charities that soothe, and heal, and bless lie scattered at the feet of (wo)men like flowers.”
WeSPARK Cancer Support Center soothed, healed, and blessed me with all of their modalities of healing. From the in-treatment support groups, to Reiki, breathwork, hypnotherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, and extraordinary kindness from Nancy Allen and Marlene McGuirt and all practitioners, (Bird, Brian, Chris, Leila, Ed, Anita, and Cheryl to name a few of these angels) to the camaraderie among guests, I can attest to the major impact WeSPARK had on my healing journey. Though I received (and continue to receive with regular follow-ups) excellent care through the City of Hope, I feel that I would neither be alive nor have hope for my future without the services of this remarkable, caring organization that brought the rainbow, the evening beam, and the prophetic ray after my life-threatening storm.

Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away and tents tomorrow with prophetic ray. Lord Byron

Beth Martin Brown

Kerry M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

WeSpark's programs have been incredibly helpful to me as I go through the cancer treatment process. I feel incredibly lucky to have found them, and with that everyone going through cancer could have access to an organization like this.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have stage 4 mixed mullarian cancer.
I really benefit from the toolbox series, gentle yoga, zentagle. But most of all the wonderful people at WESpark keep me going. They are a support community. The class facilitators are kind and supportive. So are the women who check us in at the front desk.
When I run into councilors or board members they are so positive and friendly. I love the cozy atmosphere at the front table with tea and fruit and all the charming artwork around the halls.
Even the bathroom is sparkling clean and decorated with nice things. When I hobble in the back deck and see the fountain and herbs it makes me smile and relax. In conclusion , the thing about my cancer journey that has surprised me has been the love and support of strangers like the wonderful people at WESpark.

1 Youval E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love all the activities that We Spark offer to people in need.
Thank you so much

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

No matter how great a support system you are basically facing cancer alone unless you are with people who have had it themselves or deal with patients. Nobody else can really understand what a shock it is to know that you may have a terminal illness.
When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian friends and family were there for me, but couldn't hide how upset they were and expected the worst - understandable but very depressing..........and frightening.
Then a friend told me about weSpark and everything changed for me. The group classes with people going through the same thing, the private therapies and most of all everyone bright and cheerful even when you come in bald with a lovely green complexion nobody seemed to even notice. I could not have afforded the great therapies that have helped me so much.
I'm lucky to be in remission right now - but knowing weSpark and the wonderful staff are there for me relieves the fear of isolation and gives me the comfort that makes all the difference and I'll always be grateful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

WeSpark has helped me just as much as my oncologists have helped manage my cancer. The services that are offered have greatly improved my quality of life.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My late wife, Geri S. DePaolo, was helped by weSPARK when first diagnosed with cancer in 2005. weSPARK helped us through a very difficult time. Geri's first group leader, Marie, visited her at our home a few hours before my wife passed in 2015. Each year I donate to this fine organization and occasionally attend events. I have always been treated with kindness from caring, knowledgeable professionals. Nancy, Marlene and the staff provide a unique service to those struggling with cancer as well as providing solace for their overwhelmed families. Geri felt and I feel blessed that they were here for us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was SO relieved to discover WeSPARK. I had recently been through the trauma of two brain surgeries and radiation in less than a year after discovering I had 4 brain tumors. I was completely overwhelmed and didn't even know how to move forward. It continues to be a struggle with ongoing treatment and getting used to a life of frequent doctors visits and having to acquaint myself with the 'new normal' for me.

WeSPARK has given me a community of people and compassionate staff that really understand what it's like to go through an emotional and physical journey such as this, especially at a time when I had become very good at isolating myself. I've participated in their 'Drum Circles' and frequently have utilized services such as acupuncture--which have helped alleviate my anxiety and started to calm some of the neuropathy I have from surgery. I am unbelievably happy WeSPARK exists as a resource for myself and others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recommended by a friend, I began going to weSPARK for group sessions for those in treatment for metastatic cancers. I found the group members, as well as the counselor, to be ever so helpful in my journey. I also took advantage of reflexology sessions that helped my stress level quite a bit! When I entered a trial that included a new chemo drug, I lost my hair soon after the 1st dose, and chose my first wig from them as well. While not availing myself of more services, of which there are many, I especially liked that they asked for donations of things that went to other charitable organizations that accept donations of needed items. Helping others while I needed my own help was therapeutic for me, as well the services directly provided by this wonderful organization

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I had my initial surgeries WeSpark was exactly the type of place that I wanted. Finally, after my initial recurrence, I made the trip. It turns out that what I wanted already existed and it was basically in my own backyard, although I don’t have an actual yard.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found we spark a year after being diagnosed and going for ovarian cancer treatment. If only I had known they were there from the beginning my journey would have been far safer than it was. There is so much support, knowledge,and security available the minute you walk through the door. Not only my fellow fighters but the staff is incredible. I'm so grateful that they're there for me.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Unfortunately, I didn't find We Spark until a year after I was diagnosed and had to deal with some horrible inappropriate treatment centers. Once I began with we Spark and their amazing support I learned new tools and ways to deal with my cancer. I became less fearful, more grateful, and at peace with my journey. I've gotten so many tools and coping skills that there are no words to explain how much they have given me. I went there not knowing what to expect, but found a non-judgmental caring community always there to offer a hand. I have nothing but positive things to say about them. I am so grateful for the choice to pick and choose what works for me, and hope so many others will have the same opportunity.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wespark is like another family the diferent activates for adults and children too. They kids group, spanish group very friday and the mindful group as well. My son loves to go the kids group on Mondays he likes to talk to other kids that their parents have cancer, also they have rieki too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I so appreciate the welcome by the staff, and all of the participants in the support groups and other activities at weSPARK. I felt so lost when I was first diagnosed, "different" than the people in my life who had never heard the words "You have cancer". At weSPARK Cancer Support Center, it was a given that we had heard those words, or someone close to us had heard those words. When I come in and I look or feel different than a healthy person, everyone at weSPARK understands and no questions are asked, other than "How are you today?" with a warm welcome and a hug. The various programs offered allowed me to find healing modalities and stress reduction techniques that worked for me. I was able to sample these sessions at no cost, and then settle in to those that worked best for my life, still at no cost to me. I found wonderful new friends here, and we keep in touch outside of our support groups, checking in on each other from time to time. The connection and support is so important. I am a client and a donor of weSPARK Cancer Support Center and feel so fortunate to have this vital care close to where I live and work. Bless you all for the work you do!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Long before I started working at weSPARK Cancer Support Center five years ago, I knew what a magical place it was for many of my friends with cancer. As a staff member, I see every day how individuals with cancer along with their family and friends seek comfort and tools to navigate the physical and emotional side effect of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Plus, all the services and programs are free.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Although, I personally have not been served by weSPARK Cancer Support Center, there have been many friends who have benefited by their services and programs. A very good friend of mine who was going through treatment was so frighted by the whole experience and the uncertainty of her future. She was given tools at weSPARK when she started going to guided imagery classes and individual sessions that she was no longer full of anxiety during her treatments. She also loved the yoga classes offered along with the support groups. weSPARK changed the whole experience in her cancer journey.

Read more
Bobby T.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WeSpark is where I went for support after my cancer diagnosis. I felt safe and comfortable and love the atmosphere.

Truly an amazing organization led by wonderful people!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer January 2016 and I have been going to WeSpark since the spring of 2016.
Everything I've done there has been great. Men's Support Group is a safe place to express yourself. I have also utilized services such as Reflexology, Reiki, Acupuncture, and Hypnotherapy.
Thank you so much for all you provide.
I'm also Cancer Free!!

Mike W.8

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is such a great organization. They are truly good souls that care about those that are battling cancer. I am so thankful for all that they have done for me and my partner.

ghubert

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am sure I would be severely depressed, at this point, if not for the miracle of finding WeSpark! After a disabling car accident in 2015, my cancer was diagnosed in Feb 2018. I was used to the medical run-a-round as an HMO patient, but the trauma of this diagnosis was overwhelming. I am a medicinal naturalist at heart and I struggle constantly with doctors trying to save the 85% at all toxic costs. An experimental chemotherapy is set to start in November 2018 and over these last months, if not for the energy balancing, naturally healing, sincerely helpful offerings of WeSpark programs and focused services, I'm sure I would be devastated and exhausted instead of feeling strong and able to conquer this disease, as I truly do. God Bless WeSpark and everyone that makes these resources possible! Thank you for caring to explore alternative treatments that will forever make a difference in our lives! BIG LOVE to you all. This non-profit is fantastic and their services are a valuable resource for fighting disease and lifelong happiness. This non-profit is a blessing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came looking for support after my diagnosed of cervical cancer. I was very emotional and needed all the help. They provided me with all the support and they made feel that I count and that deserve a second chance in life.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife Marlene passed away in July after her 5.5 year battle with breast cancer. That day broke my heart as Marlene was my best friend, my beautiful wife, and my soulmate. Marlene loved to go there and do yoga and hypnotherapy. She loved WeSpark. So one day after a week of her passing my mother in law brought me to WeSpark for counseling and since then I haven’t missed a week. Judy and Jeanine are so fabulous there as they help me on my road to recovery and rediscovery of my life. The programs they have are amazing too. I can’t say what I would have done with myself if it wasn’t for WeSpark and there generous staff. Thank you WeSpark for saving my life through these sorrowful times. And thank you again to Judy and Jeanine for always making me feel welcomed there.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so lucky to have had the support and varied programming of weSpark, my husbands long-term cancer has had quite a strain on all of us but our 12 YO son, my husband and I have all taken advantage of individual and group counseling as well as yoga, reiki and important resource referrals. Really this is an absolute gift from heaven.

Client Served

Rating: 5

weSPARK is an extraordinary organization that has provided me with tremendous support throughout the years since I was first diagnosed. The variety of classes, support groups, and trained professionals in various fields has allowed me to get the help I've needed, and at no cost. It's amazing what they are able to offer their clients for free. weSPARK has been invaluable to me and my family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing place for anyone who cancer has touched their lives. It has helped me so much with genuine support after the loss of my husband to cancer I wish we had known about it before so he could have taken advantage of all the services and amazing support they have to offers

Client Served

Rating: 5

weSPARK is a totally comfortable environment to spend time when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. They have counselors, nutritionists, a nurse navigator, acupuncture, reflexology, yoga, support groups for adults and children, hypnotherapy, reiki, qi gong and many special events. The staff is able to share insights from their many years of experience. The space is comfortable like someone's home and not like a medical facility. It has been unique to my journey and I always recommend it to new patients and family members.

Client Served

Rating: 5

WeSpark has been a haven for me. I still can't believe such a place exists. I turn to WeSpark when I need emotional support; to connect with others going through the same thing, people who get what it's like to go through cancer; and to find my way back to feeling centered and calm. I have my ups and downs and on my up days, I go to support the others who need it.

I appreciate the various yoga classes, drawing & writing workshops, lectures and support groups. I can't say enough how much this place has helped me.

la3clklri

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having lost my mother to cancer in 2016 after losing my father to cancer in 2005 was a turning point in my life - and not a good one. The workshops, therapies and support provided by weSpark have helped me find balalnce, have helped me find peace and have helped me release anger, confront fear and process grief. There are days I would not have gotten out of bed if it were not for an appointment or class at WeSpark. They have been and continue to be an essential lifeline to me and I am so grateful for them all who support them. You all truly make a difference in so many lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mom has stage 4 cancer. Cancer is through out her whole body, 2 primary cancers pancreatic and lung. In April 2017, she was given 2 to 4 months to live. She continues to fight today with the help of WeSpark which has provided her with free acupuncture, counseling, reflexology and numerous other supports. I think she is here today because of this organization, which we love so much!

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is NO place like home and for those of us who have had to battle the horrible disease called cancer, having a safe space is priceless. I speak from experience when I say weSpark Cancer Support Center is that place that makes us feel like we're home.

Thank you for being there for me and for those like me who need a place to go, grow and glow. You are that place. weSpark is a shining light.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Aside from my daughters, WeSpark is the only cancer support I’ve had for the last 20 years of my life. I’ve been going there for 18 years often on. The staff is so gentle and caring and I feel completely safe there. Save to feel my pain safe to cry while I do my yoga God bless you all and WeSpark you’re my heroes .

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was referred to the weSpark by a friend who knew I was having a hard time socially dealing with my metastasized prostate cancer. Since joining my men's group, I as well as others have seen the the changes necessary in life, to deal with this monster. The ultimate respect from the group has made me a better man.

Thanks weSpark

John Wetzel

Angela C.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being diagnosed with Cancer is a huge shock and needless to say, scary and overwhelming. But having all the wonderful support groups, health resources and services that weSPARK offers, did make it easier. I'm super grateful my husband also got support at the caregivers support group. I'm eternally grateful they exist and will continue to tell others about them. For my birthday on Facebook I had a personal fundraiser for them and was grateful to have my friends donate money to this amazing organization. All the people that work there are so kind! They offer so many unique, uplifting and informative workshops and classes!

Client Served

Rating: 5

weSPARK is an absolutely amazing and wonderful organization that gives selflessly and most lovingly to the community and is organized like a modern model of cancer support and grief recovery. I cannot thank or praise weSPARK enough for what it does for those in need and those, like myself, whose need is to grieve. I lost my best friend in February from breast cancer and I was so blessed to be led to weSPARK, where I received one on one quality grief counseling , group support and was welcomed to a vast array of incredible healing services should I choose them to help me deal with my feelings,, and all..at no cost to myself. Every one of the staff is caring, compassionate and doing angelic work. Thank you weSPARK for all you do and all you give and how you have made it possible for those hurting to not be alone when fellowship is most needed. Thank you and Bless you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Grief is such a shameful emotion in the Korean-American community. As a daughter of a traditional father, any show of my grief always triggered his rage. Needless to say, I never dealt with these terroristic family tactics.

Thankfully, a therapist referred me to WeSpark. The groups sessions are (in some ways) the hardest I’ve ever done. I’m aghast at my own levels of rage, and sometimes I’m frightened at my level of repression, as well as the depth of emotion.

Thanks to the intake workers at WeSpark who immediately saw that I needed help. Thanks to all the donors who have made this previously unthinkable journey possible for me. Once I’m in the clear, I hope to repay this (essentially) gift of life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's a safe, warm, caring place where people suffering from Cancer, their caregivers, friends and family can find desperately needed resources and support.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started going to We Spark on July 2013. I was diagnosed with Melanoma.
The support that I received from this nonprofit organization is amazing! I feel that WS is part of my family.
Only the people that passed through these trials can understand you much better.
If you have cancer or your familiy members have experienced this disease, don't hesitate to do the interview at WP. You will find support, energy and undestanding.
We are brothers and sisters talking the same language: cancer.
God bless you!
Thanks a lot.