Meet Our Team - After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Meet Our Team

February 21, 2024

Ellen Friebert Schupper, Executive Director

With a passion for women’s health and extensive experience in nonprofit marketing, fundraising, and strategic partnership development, I was honored to join ABCD in 2017 as Executive Director to continue fulfilling our outstanding mission while leading the organization’s growth plans to reach and serve more people impacted by breast cancer.

Every day, I am motivated by the people who reach out to ABCD for support and the positive impact our Mentors and staff provide to current and former breast cancer patients, people living with metastatic disease, and caregiving family and friends.  Cancer touched my life most personally when my father was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 2013.  I remember feeling so alone as a caregiving daughter and wishing I could talk to someone who really understood what I was going through.  In addition, since joining ABCD, more than 10 of my friends have received a breast cancer diagnosis and I am so grateful to ABCD Mentors who have provided emotional support to each of them.

I grew up in Milwaukee, WI and lived, studied, and worked in St Louis, MO, Washington, DC, and Cleveland, OH before moving back to Milwaukee in 2009 to be closer to my parents and extended family.   Outside of work, I enjoy a very active family life with my husband Brian, our three boys Ethan, Ari and Gabriel, and dog Reggie and squeeze in yoga, reading a good book, going to live theater, and laughing with friends as much as possible.  Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Amanda Hirsch, Match Specialist

I joined ABCD in 2023 as a Match Specialist. Every day I get the opportunity to speak to individuals looking for compassion, understanding and someone to support them emotionally as they navigate their breast cancer diagnosis. Matching people with Mentors who understand the emotional and mental toll of cancer is invaluable. 

In 2015 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was introduced to the world of cancer. Having friends who had gone through cancer treatments became lifelines for me and helped assure, motivate, and comfort me through the process. After successful treatments I was told I was cancer free and felt the urge to make a difference. I am involved in many local organizations and appreciate having the opportunity to affect change and enrich lives.  I live in southern Wisconsin and love to enjoy life with my husband Matthew and our children Xavier, Violet, and Maddux. Life is busy, but we make time to volunteer in our community and give back where we can.

Keeshia Jones, Director of Healthcare & Community Partnerships

I joined ABCD in early 2023, taking on the newly created role as the Director of Healthcare & Community Partnerships. I am excited to join the team and continue to build partnerships with healthcare providers as well as breast cancer organizations in Wisconsin and beyond. 

My involvement in ABCD has come full circle.  I have always had a passion to serve others and devoted over 27 years in higher education, helping students navigate the financial aid process to achieve their dream of attending college. However, after being personally affected with a breast cancer diagnosis in July of 2018, I felt a desire to give back and assist other women in a more meaningful way.  I began volunteering to promote breast cancer awareness, including becoming an ABCD Mentor in December 2020. Since then, I have been matched with more than 15 women across the country who had a similar diagnosis and treatment as my own. In January 2023, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and this has made me even more determined and dedicated to make a difference to support those impacted by this disease.

I am originally from Ohio and have lived in Wisconsin for over 20 years. My husband Norris and I have one daughter and 3 sons -Tanisha, Norris, Jr & Christian (twins) and Daniel. We stay busy with our 2 dogs, Red and Buddy and 2 grandkids, Taniyah & Saint, whom we spoil tremendously! I love to travel, bake, play board games, listen to music, and watch the latest blockbuster films. Two of my favorite poems which guide my life are “Do It Anyway” by Mother Teresa and “Still Like Air, I’ll Rise” by Maya Angelou. Both inspire me to serve others and rise above challenges!

Ashley Kopca, Director of Corporate Partnerships & Events

In Fall 2021, I joined ABCD to assist the Executive Director in a myriad of development and marketing projects, ultimately leading into my current role as the Director of Corporate Partnerships & Events.  This newly created position is focused on broadening our relationships with existing and future corporate supporters.

Before ABCD, I spent a decade in retail, honing my skills in sales, leadership, relationship building, and operations.  I made the move to ABCD because I wanted to shift my career focus to making a bigger impact in the world.  I felt strongly about finding a woman-focused and run organization that was making a difference in the community. That search led me to ABCD.  I immediately connected to our mission of ensuring no one faces breast cancer alone and supporting anyone impacted by this diagnosis.  Learning more about how this disease affects so many people has been eye opening and it continues to inspire me to help expand ABCD’s impact around the country to help even more people.  The phrase I hear over and over is “I wish I knew about ABCD when I was diagnosed” and my goal is to make sure anyone who needs us, receives the support they are looking for. 

Outside of work, my husband Mike and I enjoy going on adventures with our two children, Mason, and Breanna.  We love traveling, trying new things, hiking, and family movie nights.

Linda Settler, Match Specialist

I am beyond thrilled to take my ABCD involvement to the next level in 2024 as a Match Specialist, where I work alongside an incredibly dedicated team of women whose goal is to provide help to others navigating this awful disease. I became an ABCD Mentor in May 2020, the result of a chance encounter with a group of ABCD Mentors and staff members when I participated in a Breast Cancer Awareness Month fashion show fundraiser the previous year.

I have had the privilege of mentoring 10 women so far, and hope that each of them has gotten as much or more from our connection as I have. In addition to my experience as a Mentor, I have been increasingly involved with a variety of ABCD volunteer opportunities over the years, which have given me wonderful chances to network and help grow ABCD.

Although I was born in New York City, I spent my entire childhood and early adulthood living in various parts of the country. My husband, Craig, shares a similar upbringing. We met while attending college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. From there, like our families before us, we relocated annually over a 6-year span, finally setting down roots in 1988 in Milwaukee. Together, we have two adult children—a daughter, Meredith, and son, Cameron—and live with our 13-year-old, 6-pound “Forever Kitty,” Lucy. I am also a Chief Election Inspector for the Village of Fox Point, a suburb of Milwaukee, a position I have held since 2008.

Carrie Williams, Match Specialist

I joined ABCD first in February 2018 as a Mentor to share my experience, strength, and hope with others and then four years later as a Match Specialist to be part of the team delivering outstanding support services, while developing meaningful relationships with Mentors, Participants, and Volunteers.

In April of 2013, I was a very busy working mom of a 5-year-old little boy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After two years of surgeries, treatments, and early menopause, I was left with the very common feeling of “how can I help?”. My priorities had changed so I decided to leave a 15+ year rewarding career that I loved and entered the non-profit sector of breast cancer support and outreach that led me to ABCD. I’m motivated every day by the lump I get in my throat during each intake conversation. It reminds me how devastating this diagnosis can be, When I hear the giant release of breath that a person has been holding in, I am reminded exactly why ABCD is here. I know I am meant to be doing this work. I am virtually holding someone’s hand and letting them feel whatever it is they need to feel. I am offering them a lifeline in a match to another person that has been exactly where they are.

I grew up in Sandy Creek, NY and lived, studied, and worked in Phoenix, AZ, Raleigh, NC and Madison, WI before moving to Monroe, WI in 2015. Outside of work, I cherish my family life with my husband Mike and our son Ethan. I love animals; having 3 dogs, 2 cats and, second to breast cancer, it is the advocacy work I adore.

See the ABCD Board of Directors.

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