One woman’s dream of a cancer support community thrives in southern California.

When Wendie Jo Sperber was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, she realized that cancer patients and their loved ones have needs beyond those served by treatment and medical support. Her own experience led her to found weSPARK Cancer Support Community, an independently run cancer support center in Sherman Oaks, California.  Though Wendie Jo passed away in 2005, her dream lives on in the thriving organization she founded.

Nancy Allen, program director at weSPARK, says that Wendie Jo’s goal was to create “a place to offer hope, strength, and comfort for anyone whose life had been affected by cancer” and to provide these programs and services free of charge in a comfortable, homelike setting. Nancy says that the name—weSPARK—reflects Wendie Jo’s desire to “create a spark in the cancer community” and to provide support, prevention, acceptance, recovery, and knowledge.

Today weSPARK continues to do just that for 4,000 “guests” (patients, family members, and loved ones) annually, by offering healing practices such as reiki, yoga, and qigong to complement patients’ traditional cancer therapy as well as support groups and social activities for patients and family members. Together, Nancy says, these opportunities “offer guests a full mind-body-spirit healing experience.”

To learn more about weSPARK, visit www.wespark.org or call (818) 906-3022.