Forever Home

‘Angels’ help Cancer Support Community find its space
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Cancer Support Community Pasadena/Submitted

Cancer Support Community Pasadena has found its home.

After 32 years of providing support, education and hope to families facing cancer in three leased facilities, the nonprofit will move into a permanent facility next year. 

“Our exciting new home is in Sierra Madre, and we plan to move in spring 2023,” says Patricia Ostiller, executive director. 

“Thanks to the transformative generosity of Ellen and Harvey Knell, and three additional lead donors, we have achieved our first goal — purchasing the property.”

The Knells “got the ball rolling” and donated $1 million to push the organization forward. “Three additional angels” offered six-figure gifts, according to Ostiller. 

“Sierra Madre is a beautiful neighborhood for our mission. It’s very friendly and down to earth and relaxing. We look forward to our members finding peace and comfort and relaxation and support in Sierra Madre — and we look forward to getting to know our neighbors.”

Before Cancer Support Community moves in spring, when the lease expires, the building must undergo improvements. 

Having concluded the quiet phase of its $3.75 million capital campaign, Be the Key, Cancer Support Community has launched the public phase to support extensive interior renovations needed to facilitate program delivery and to increase the organization’s reserves for building maintenance. 

“Our donors are excited about this news, too, and we look forward to joining hands with our entire community to help us ensure a successful campaign,” Ostiller says. 

“A variety of permanent naming opportunities are available at”

Cancer Support Community provides professionally led support groups, educational workshops and healthy lifestyle classes to cancer patients and their families.

“Importantly, everything we offer is free of charge, thanks to our dedicated donors,” Ostiller adds. 

“When you have cancer, even if you have insurance, there may be very high deductibles. You may lose time at work for treatments. 

“It’s a very stressful time emotionally and financially. We’re pleased to offer our programs at no charge for our participants. They have enough on their mind.”

Cancer Support Community Pasadena partners with oncologists to ensure stellar medical care. 

“In addition to treating the body, the other part is addressing the psychosocial needs of cancer patients, reducing anxiety, stress, providing participants with coping skills and resources,” she says. 

“That’s what our support groups do. Nobody understands cancer better than other people going through it. They know what it feels like to have nausea after chemo, what helps with nausea. Our support group participants become lifelong friends because they’re going through difficult journey together.”

The larger building will also allow Cancer Support Community to offer new programs at its participants’ request. An outdoor oasis will provide solace for patients. 

“We can have our support groups in a private outdoor space with a water feature and landscaping,” she says. “It’ll provide for a beautiful outdoor space, especially here in Southern California.”

Cancer Support Community Pasadena


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