Harriet Benjamin, co-founder of The Wellness Community, a groundbreaking network of cancer support centers, died at her Marina del Rey home on April 7 of lung cancer. She was 85 years old.
Harriet and her husband, Harold, started The Wellness Community in 1982, bringing free psychosocial support to cancer patients and their families. The concept — to turn cancer “victims” into their own advocates, reduce despair and enhance the possibility of recovery — filled a void in the treatment world and became a model emulated around the world. In 2009, The Wellness Community joined forces with a similar organization, Gilda’s Club, to form Cancer Support Community, which now has 50 support centers around the country and the world.
She is survived by her daughters, Ann and Lauren; her grandson, Jordan Garett (Pearl); and great-grandchildren Ana and Benjamin.