Ellen Friebert Schupper is the Executive Director of ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis. Founded in 1999, ABCD nurtures hope and restores confidence in anyone impacted by breast cancer, from the newly diagnosed to those in treatment and beyond. We understand that breast cancer is so much more than appointments, biopsies, surgeries and treatment. It is about the whole person and requires support from people who know what it is really like after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Our signature service is matching breast cancer patients, families and friends (Participants) with professionally trained volunteer breast cancer survivors (Mentors). These highly customized matches connect people with the same diagnosis and treatment plan and share similar personal traits and interests. Mentors provide hope, compassion, understanding and empathy when people need it the most. All services are free and can be conducted over the phone or via email, in English or Spanish. To date, ABCD has supported 98,000 people around the United States and the world.
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Betsey Bryant has been the Senior Match Specialist for ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis for seven years. The mother of four adult children she decided to focus on her passion for helping others and went back to school for a post graduate certificate in Patient Advocacy. A graduate of the UW-Madison Patient Advocacy Capstone Program Betsey wrote her Capstone Paper on the National Cancer Institute’s recommendation to revise the existing guidelines for first-time mammograms. Her interest in women’s health, in particular breast health issues, led her to accept a position at ABCD.
As the Senior Match Specialist, Betsey is able to use the skills she learned during her advocacy training on a daily basis. Each day calls come to her from people affected by a breast cancer diagnosis. During each of these conversations it is imperative that she connect with them. Understanding their diagnosis, their treatment plan, and their personal concerns is key to the matching process. Betsey works with a Mentor Corps of 290 professionally-trained and staff-supported breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and caretakers to make the best possible Mentor Match.