Wellness House History

In the Winter of 1988, three local women, two of whom were cancer survivors, initiated the efforts which would lead to the founding of Wellness House. They asked the question, "What do cancer patients need to help themselves manage the challenges and difficulties they face resulting from diagnosis, treatment, and living with a life threatening illness?" The answer to this complex question began a broad-based community effort, resulting in a new, purpose-built facility. Wellness House serves over 1,250 individuals a year, who collectively make more than 20,000 visits to the facility.

Wellness House officially came into existence when a group of twenty local residents, most of whom were cancer survivors, formed a Planning Commission in 1988. After several months operating in space borrowed from Hinsdale Hospital and becoming registered as a not-for-profit. The Board of Directors of this fledgling organization and raised the funds necessary to open and affiliate with the Wellness Community-National.

In 1990, Wellness House purchased property adjacent to Hinsdale Hospital, and on July 3 of that year, began providing services to cancer victims in the Chicagoland area. After quickly reaching the capacity of its facility, Wellness House engaged in a major fund drive and began to build its current home. Drawing on extraordinary community support from residents, builders, contractors, designers. and also from its own auxiliaries, Wellness House broke ground for its new facility during the Winter of 1992.

Following almost two years of operating in loaned office space, Wellness House dedicated its new and still unfinished facility in October 1993, by hosting an open house for the more than 2000 workers, contractors, volunteers and participants who contributed to the building. The following month, the Board of Directors chose to become independent of the Wellness Community and adopted the name Wellness House. Independence allowed Wellness House to assess the effectiveness of its programming and to alter and to expand its programs to better meet the needs of its participants.

Finally, on January 17, 1994, Wellness House moved its operations back to 131 North County Line Road and opened the doors of its wonderful, new home. Innovative programming and increased awareness has fueled the growth of Wellness House to its current levels. The programming and new facility have been so successful that Jim Edgar proclaimed Wellness House the 1994 recipient of the prestigious Governor's Cup for the outstanding volunteer project in the State of Illinois.

If you or someone you know or love is affected by cancer, you may be interested in receiving help or support from Wellness House.

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