(13-WHAM, & WHAM News) Gilda Radner was known for her quick wit and ability to make people laugh. She was one of the original cast members on Saturday Night Live in the 1970's.
Radner never lost her sense of humor even during her battle with Ovarian cancer.
She died in 1989 at the age of 42. Her wish was to establish a center where women could get support as they battled cancer. A place where people "understood" what cancer patients faced.
After she died, Radner's husband, actor, Gene Wilder, started such a place. It was called Gilda's Club. The name came from a comment Radner made when diagnosed with cancer, saying "Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I'd rather not belong to."
The National Chapter was established in 1998, but now is changing its name, losing Gilda's name from the title. The organization is concerned the younger generation doesn't know who Radner was.
But, the Rochester chapter of Gilda's Club is not changing its name and the executive director tells us, he will fight any attempt to remove Gilda's name from their title.
Executive Director Bob Russell said "It's who we are, it's who people are accustomed to us being... right now, when we've got control, we're Gilda's Club and that's what we're going to stay."
The Rochester Chapter of Gilda's Club opened in 2000. It was one of the first local chapters in the country.