Ruth  Dugan

Ruth Dugan

Ruth Dugan, the board president of Gilda's Club for the Northern New Jersey chapter - Gilda's Club was named in honor of well-known comedian Gilda Radner, who died from ovarian cancer. At the time, Gilda's Club was facing bankruptcy, having run out of funds and grants that would keep the non-profit afloat, so Dugan was asked to join the board. Relying on her experience as a reporter, a campaign manager and school board president, Dugan continued to gain support. Gilda's Club is named in honor of Gilda Radner, who, when describing the emotional and social support she received when she had cancer, called for such places to be made available for people with cancer and their families and friends everywhere. Although the Saturday Night Live comedian died in 1989, Gilda's spirit lives on at every Gilda's Club, where members join with other "experts" at living with cancer to both give and receive the benefits of love and laughter through the unique Gilda's Club program. The first Gilda's Club, including a worldwide training center, opened its signature red door in New York City in 1995. Since that time, additional clubhouses have opened in North America and Canada. Thousands of members now attest to the fact that Gilda's Club has helped change their lives by restoring control and enabling them to plan their own emotional and social support, thus strengthening and enriching the entire family.