each of our families felt alone as we searched for answers to many important questions. We needed a place to share information about blood counts and central line care, nutrition during treatment, and the emotional impact of this illness on the other members of our families. We wondered what kind of lives our children could hope for after treatment, what long-term neurological side effects we could expect as they matured, and how we could best deal with those effects. Unfortunately, answers were frequently hard to find and we could identify no central source for the information we needed. We decided to launch this support network."

We Can has grown from a small group of parents sponsored by a single hospital, to an independent organization that serves the patients and families of medical centers throughout California. We Can is a project of Community Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping community service endeavors in the greater Los Angeles area.

Read an ABC News story about We Can co-founder Kathy Riley and her son Peter, a long-term brain tumor survivor.


  • Robert J. Brown, MD, Associate Attending, Neural Tumors Program, Senior Research Fellow, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  • Thomas Deason, Board Chair, Film Producer, Fools Errand Entertainment
  • Dan Gitlin, investment banking, Credit Suisse Securities (USA)
  • Michael Kornbluth, Board Treasurer, CPA (inactive), licensed real estate broker
  • Rosie Newton, Northern California representative, parent
  • Gary Painter, PhD, Professor, Director, Graduate Programs in Public Policy, Director of Research, Lusk Center for Real Estate, University of Southern California, bereaved parent
  • Patricia Painter, bereaved parent
  • Thomas Parham, PhD, Professor, Chair, Cinematic Arts, Azusa Pacific University
  • Kathy Riley, Executive Director, Co-Founder
  • Chris Riley, Professor of Film, John Paul the Great Catholic University
  • Rose Wright, grants manager, Providence Health and Services Foundation
Emeritus Members

  • Gigi McMillan, Co-Founder
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We Can is a project of Community Partners, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
(c) 2014 We Can.  All Rights Reserved
Who We Are
Our History

We Can was formed in 1996 by Gigi McMillan and Kathy Riley, two mothers whose children were in treatment for brain tumors. In an open letter to the community announcing the first meeting of the group, they wrote:

"... As you probably did, we staggered through the trauma of diagnosis and treatment and struggled to cope with the changes we saw in our children.  Though the medical care we received was excellent,