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ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: ABCD provides free, personalized information and one-to-one support to people affected by breast cancer – patients, families and friends. While science searches for a cure, ABCD complements the work of healthcare providers by serving as a reliable, accessible and highly personalized breast cancer support resource for patients and their loved ones.

Results: ABCD’s One-to-One mentoring breast cancer support service is the foundation of its work. ABCD trains volunteers who have already experienced breast cancer to provide personalized information and emotional support to people now on a breast cancer journey. We call these volunteers “mentors” and the people they serve “participants.” Most participants are breast cancer patients, but mentor services are available also for family and friends – an increasingly popular support service. Mentoring is not a support group, nor does it replace one if you would like that support also. Instead, it is One-to-One support provided directly to participants by volunteers who have “been there.” The support is personalized to participants’ experiences and concerns, whether they involve diagnosis, treatment, family issues, professional concerns, general anxiety – or all of these challenges.

Programs: PERSONALIZED ONE-TO-ONE BREAST CANCER SUPPORT CREATED BY WOMEN WHO UNDERSTAND ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis was founded by a group of women – led by Melodie Wilson – 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. Based in metropolitan Milwaukee, our services are available for free, anywhere, as long as you have a telephone.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer Well, this April it returned!!! I was in shock and that night I called ABCD. Years ago, it was the Y me hotline. I asked for someone to speak with and match me up with a survivor. they did the EXACT match I was looking for. Understanding, caring, empathetic, and this woman got me through. if it wasn"t for this woman at the other end of the phone counseling me, guiding me, listening to me I would not be in the space I am today! She was My life saver! I have no family that was ready and available to "listen" Friends shyed away from me and still do. I have had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. Still healing and now facing chemo therapy for a year. I know have another survivor I am speaking with. I am also BCRA1 positive. I live alone and its been painstaking going through this . This organization has helped me through this whole ordeal and continues to help me I am blessed and greatful to have called and utilized your agency You are the best!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I needed to have help with my diagnosis. I wanted a mentor so when I called they matched me to someone who had basically the same diagnosis that I had. My mentor helped me get through the decisions I needed to make. She was not pushy and was there when I needed her. It made me want to be a mentor myself. I am now a mentor and hopefully I have helped the people that I mentored.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't remember where I picked up the contact information, but what I do remember is that the person on the other end of the phone was empathetic and understanding. After obtaining the most pertinent infomation about my diagnosis and current concerns she told me that a closely matached mentor would be in contact with me that very same day. She was absolutely correct! My mentor had almost the exact same diagnosis at my same age. She had the same treatments that I was expected to have, and the best news was that she was leading a very active life 5 years out from treatment. It was the best medicine I could have had.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first volunteered for ABCD: After Breast Cancer as it was just being organized. I knew first hand that a free, unbiased, reliable, accessible and truly personal resource for support for those affected by breast cancer - patients, family and friends - was essential. I had just learned a dear friend had breast cancer and had no idea how to be helpful or calm my own stress. Since that time thousands have been served, living in cities, rural areas and everywhere in between. ABCD's approach is changing the breast cancer experience. Now, I work at ABCD and am proud to be part of an amazingly effective and sensitive organization with hundreds of trained and professionally supported volunteers, committed staff and insightful Board. Sadly, because of the prevelance of breast cancer, I've used ABCD's services over and over. But until there is no more breast cancer, thank heavens ABCD is there.