Gilda was universally loved. She was known as a warm and caring person, and her early death from ovarian cancer in 1989 was shocking and terribly sad.
As of November, 2012 and over the next year, Gilda’s Clubs across North America will be rebranded to become part of a larger organization named “Cancer Support Community”. This decision was brought to my attention by a wonderfully talented comedian and improviser in Chicago, and it is something I take particular issue with (my mom knew Gilda Radner in Toronto, and she is a huge influence on many of the comedians I know).
The reason for the rebrand, according to Lania Syren Stenz (Executive Director, Gilda’s Club Madison), is:
One of the realizations we had this year is that our college students were born after Gilda Radner passed, as we are seeing younger and younger adults who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.