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4 reviews

Review for weSPARK Cancer Support Center, Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

Role:  Client Served
 

Review for Action Committee for Women in Prison, Pasadena, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

ACWIP helps the country know about the problems and concerns of women in prison. Many incarcerated women had been abused. Some had been drug abusers which had lead to their cycle of crime. ACWIP works with legislators and other public officials to inform and educate about the unique situations of women in prison. ACWIP brings attention to the oversentencing and lack of attention that is given to women that have become incarcerated.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Role:  Board Member
 

Review for Action Committee for Women in Prison, Pasadena, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Action Committee for Women in Prison, started by Gloria Killian is just what the name says...an action committee for the growing number of women in prison in this country. Gloria Killian was wrongfully convicted and served over seventeen years of her life in prison for a crime that she did not commit. In prison, she helped other inmates and when finally released vowed to help other incarcerated women. She is a dedicated activist for those who do not have a voice. She co-hosts a weekly internet radio show where stories are told of the injustices that continue to happen. She speaks from authority and firsthand knowledge of what the problems in the prison systems are and she is also an respected international speaker on these topics of women in prison, wrongful convictions, and the need to ban the death penalty.

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

seeing direct results of ACWIP's actions and attention with the release of several women who would still be incarcerated if it were not for Gloria's and ACWIP's commitment and publicity to the cause.

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

some how obtain more publicity and more funds.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Role:  Board Member & I, too, have become an activist for these causes.
 

Review for Action Committee for Women in Prison, Pasadena, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Gloria Killian, ACWIP (Action Committee for Women in Prison) talks the talk and walks the walk. She's the real deal. After serving over seventeen years for a crime that she had nothing to do with, Gloria vowed to help the 'sisters' she left behind. Her mission is to bring attention to the out of control American prison system. She/ACWIP fights for freedom for elderly and infirm inmates, the wrongfully convicted and most of all battered women whose main 'crime' was to save their own lives and many times the lives of their children. Personally, she has been a pillar of strength for me as I have been living with a loved one's wrongful conviction. Professionally, she has spoken to many of my classes and educated the students about these judicial inequities. She cohosts a weekly radio show on Blogtalkradio/4justicenow and her website www.acwip.net are frontline sources for knowing whose case needs attention and action.

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

seeing direct results of ACWIP's actions and attention with the release of several women who would still be incarcerated if it were not for Gloria's and ACWIP's commitment and publicity to the cause.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Role:  Board Member & Help raise awareness of ACWIP and wrongful convictions.