ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis nurtures hope and restores confidence in all those affected by breast cancer. We are passionate about building connections to create a caring community of people who really understand what it’s like to have breast cancer or to support someone who does.
ABCD was founded in 1999 by a group of women – led by Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist Melodie Wilson Oldenburg – who realized that having breast cancer is about much more than biopsies, surgery and chemotherapy. Most of ABCD’s founders are breast cancer survivors who discovered that the most valuable information and support came from others in similar life circumstances with similar experiences with the disease. Not everyone diagnosed with breast cancer knows where to find that kind of help. That’s where ABCD comes in.
We provide free, personalized information and one-to-one support to patients, families and friends affected by breast cancer, from the newly diagnosed to those in treatment and on into survivorship. Our services focus on emotional and holistic support to complement medical care. Skilled intake staff actively listens to what a caller (“Participant”) needs and finding answers or solutions to her/his most pressing needs, from short-term support about appearance issues and financial management to more extensive matches between a Participant and breast cancer survivor (“Mentor”), whose specific diagnosis, life stage and concerns match their own.
Each match is carefully created to ensure a meaningful connection between a Mentor and Participant that meets the needs of the Participant and can last a long as needed; sometimes it’s a few phone calls during the treatment decision-making process and other times, matches develop into lifelong friendships. No one else – not a nurse navigator, not a helpline, or a website – provides this highly customized connection to someone who has truly ‘walked in your shoes.’
Based in Milwaukee, ABCD has trained Mentors residing coast to coast. All services can be conducted over the phone or via email, in English or Spanish, and are available to anyone in the United States or around the world. We also have Mentors who speak French, Polish, Russian, Portuguese and Ukranian. Based on the generous support of our donors, all ABCD services have been and always will be free and confidential.