Our Stories Archive - After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Our Stories

Rachel Weinberg: Making an Impact on the Breast Cancer Community One Match at a Time

As an ABCD Mentor and the co-chair of the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse Fashion Show, Rachel Weinberg is highly engaged in the breast cancer community. And while she is just […]

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A Mentor Can Be Exactly the Support Someone Needs

Elise Haschker could feel her mind spinning. It was January 2022, and she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her medical team gave her a folder full of information, […]

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From Participant to Mentor to Board Member: Biro’s ABCD Journey Helps Develop Organization’s Roadmap

Cheryl Biro has been involved with ABCD for almost 10 years and has seen the organization through several different lenses during that time, first as a Participant, then as a […]

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Healthcare Providers Help Patients Find Support on Their Journeys

Following a breast cancer diagnosis, healthcare providers focus on ensuring patients understand the next steps and receive prompt treatment. But patients also need emotional support – and healthcare providers play […]

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Melodie Henderson: Much More Than a “Cancer Story”

Faith, determination, and a fight-to-win mantra all helped Melodie Henderson get through more than a few bumps in the road during her cancer journey, which began in 2017. That November, […]

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With a Mentor, You’re Never Alone

When Lori Petitti found out she had breast cancer, she felt overwhelmed. “My doctor seemed to be in a rush to make me do surgery and treatment,” says Lori, who […]

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ABCD Mentor Training Program Makes All The Difference

Since ABCD was founded in 1999, almost 800 people from across the United States have completed ABCD’s Mentor Training Program in order to provide our signature service: delivering customized, one-to-one […]

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Jessica Barolsky: Healing Through Faith and Community

It was 2016 and an exciting but hectic time for 34-year-old Jessica Barolsky and her husband Michael. They had just welcomed Noah, their new baby boy, into the world to […]

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Keeshia Jones: ABCD is a Hidden Gem

For years, Keeshia Jones had regular mammograms without any sign of a problem. But in July 2018, her screening mammogram revealed something suspicious. After more testing, Keeshia learned she had […]

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What I Wish I’d Known About Mammogram Callbacks

Here’s what you should know if you’re on the receiving end of such a call (and it doesn’t involve Dr. Google) Because my mother and maternal aunt had breast cancer, […]

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Phyllis Eig: Finding Others on the Same Journey

In June 2016, shortly after Phyllis Eig learned she had breast cancer, her surgeon invited her to a weekly support group for newly diagnosed patients. Days later, Phyllis found herself […]

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robin
Robin Schwarz: Giving Back Beautifully After Breast Cancer

Robin Schwarz was a busy mother of two young children when she learned she had breast cancer. It was 2010, and Robin did not know anyone else who had been […]

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MLB Honors Deb Probelski, 2021 Honorary Bat Girl

Congrats to Deb Probelski, breast cancer survivor, ABCD Mentor and huge Brewers fan, who was named one of Major League Baseball’s Honorary Bat Girls for 2021. Deb was chosen by […]

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Closing Out 2020

With the start of a new year comes new hopes, new dreams, new beginnings, and new aspirations. It’s a time to band together and make good things happen. And a […]

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2020

As you may know, October is considered National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time of year dedicated to educating, communicating, and elevating understanding about breast cancer detection, treatment, and living […]

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ABCD 2020 Award Winners

Join us as we celebrate ABCD and Honor Betsy Brenner & Carol Cameron! The Power of One-to-One Award Recipient:Elizabeth “Betsy” Brenner This year, we will honor Elizabeth “Betsy” Brenner for […]

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The Grewal family expresses their gratitude for ABCD

Harpreet Grewal, who lives in California, called ABCD soon after his wife Kiran was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.  After receiving support as a caregiver, he and his family […]

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Janice-Cowden
Janice Cowden: Plan to Live

“Here and now.” That’s what matters most to ABCD Mentor Janice Cowden. She’s a mother, grandmother, and former pediatric nurse who’s also a passionate advocate for the metastatic breast cancer […]

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I am More
I Am More

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2020 Date with a Plate – ABCD & COVID-19

Proceeds from our 2020 Date with a Plate will go to provide customized services to the thousands who will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year. Breast cancer didn’t stop […]

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Kathy Korducki
Kathy Korducki: Cold Capping Offers a Choice When Patients Feel Powerless

One of the most fearful aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis is the loss of control patients feel. For ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis Mentor Kathy Korducki, who was diagnosed […]

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ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis Elects New Slate of Officers

ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis announced today the appointment of Billie Jean Smith (President), intellectual property attorney at Boyle Fredrickson; Linda E.B. Hansen (Vice President), retired partner at Foley & […]

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2022 Breast Cancer Awareness Month Note from Ellen Friebert Schupper, ABCD Executive Director

Each year, as the calendar flips to October, we start to see pumpkins on doorsteps, leaves changing colors, and gift giving ideas for the upcoming holiday season. We also start seeing […]

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Maureen Luddy: Embrace What Brings You Joy

When Maureen Luddy told friends about her breast cancer diagnosis, they asked what they could do to help her. Her response was always, “I’m going to be fine. If you […]

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ABCD provides EMPATHY

The partnership between Kesslers Diamonds and ABCD began a number of years ago and continues today. Jim Bretzel talks about the importance of our Mentors, and how he believes the […]

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ABCD provides ENCOURAGEMENT

Cindy Sellon has been a Mentor for six years and has mentored twenty women.  Remembering how she felt that day in her car when she heard the words, “you have […]

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ABCD provides CONFIDENCE

ABCD staff member, Judy Mindin shares the founder’s dream for the organization and how the program inspires confidence by giving hope to all those affected by breast cancer.  Continuing her […]

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ABCD Provides HOPE

ABCD past Participant and current Mentor, Mary Reina talks about the phone call that changed her life.  Shocked and afraid, her ABCD Mentor became her lifeline giving her the hope […]

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ABCD provides COMPASSION

Young, healthy and pregnant, Lisa Armitage was shocked to learn she had breast cancer.  She found the compassion she needed in her Mentor.  Just hearing the voice of someone who […]

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ABCD provides UNDERSTANDING

Concern over breast cancer awareness being limited to the month of October, resulted in a ten-year partnership between ABCD and the Marcus Corporation.  Tim Smith, talks about their role in […]

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ABCD provides GUIDANCE

Bonnie Anderson, was at the perfect place in her life – she was a borderline empty nester, she had just married the love of her life and then a call […]

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ABCD provides SUPPORT

Struggles with how to live your life following a breast cancer diagnosis are very real.  In this video Kathryn Walker talks about the immediate bond she felt with her Mentor […]

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ABCD provides KINDNESS

ABCD provides holistic care that medical providers cannot offer.  Working as a complement to healthcare providers, MSW, Leanne Walz, discusses the value of having someone there who truly understands at […]

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ABCD focuses on FAITH

ABCD’s first Latina Mentor, Maria Nieves – a single mother, has lived with breast cancer for the last thirteen years.  Her faith in God and ABCD have helped her through […]

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ABCD provides COMFORT

28 weeks pregnant Jessica Storm was diagnosed with breast cancer.  ABCD was able to match her with a Mentor who had been young and pregnant when diagnosed and was now […]

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ABCD provides PERSPECTIVE

Her phone rang in 1998 and Cancer Physical Therapist, Leslie Waltke, was invited to join a group of women who were determined to bring the need for emotional support to […]

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ABCD’s Match Specialists Take Care With Every Connection

When a person calls ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis in need of emotional support, what happens next almost seems like magic. Within a few days, each caller is connected with […]

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Making a Difference: Judy Mindin Celebrates 16 Years with ABCD

For the past 16 years, Judy Mindin has dedicated her time and talents to ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, helping our organization provide customized, one-to-one mentoring for breast cancer patients, […]

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Karen Leonard
Karen Leonard: Rare Diagnosis Sparks a Journey of Support and Advocacy

If you’ve never heard of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, Karen Leonard wants to change that. Diagnosed in 2009 with IBC, Karen knows firsthand how often this rare and aggressive form of […]

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Judy Mindin and ABCD: Meant To Be

Judy Mindin was ready for a change. After a successful career in sales and marketing at Pabst Brewing Company, she’d kept busy as a painter, and also owned and operated […]

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Dara Kumbera: A Story of Determination

Even before her diagnosis, Dara Kumbera knew what it meant to battle breast cancer. In her family, the illness was a familiar and unwelcome occurrence: her mother, grandmother, and cousin […]

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Nailah Cash O’Bannon and Kathryn Walker: A Story of Connection

Breast cancer before the age of 40 is relatively rare. But it was a stark reality for Nailah Cash O’Bannon and Kathryn Walker, who were diagnosed in their 20s. As […]

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Morgan Oldenburg
Morgan Oldenburg: Carrying on a Legacy, Her Own Way

Morgan Oldenburg isn’t one to seek the spotlight. But as the eldest daughter of the late Melodie Wilson Oldenburg, Morgan recognizes her role in carrying on an important legacy in the Milwaukee community. Her mother, an Emmy award-winning journalist, local anchorwoman, and television reporter, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992; seven years later, she founded ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.

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Jack Congleton

Jack Congleton greets me with a warm smile, a welcome sight on an early spring morning that feels more like the middle of winter. Although I’m just meeting Jack – […]

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Maria “Mimi” Nieves – A Story of Reinvention

Mimi Nieves was used to being in control. A single mother with three young children, she worked full-time and always kept her household – and her life – running smoothly. […]

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Nicole Kutmas
Nichole Kutmas – A Story of Hope

When Nichole Kutmas found a lump the size of a pencil eraser, breast cancer was the last thing on her mind. It was May 2013, and Nichole had just celebrated her 32nd birthday. She had two young daughters.

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