About Us

Mission: Enhancing the lives of women diagnosed with cancer, others with breast cancer, and their loved ones through regular support meetings, education, wellness programming, celebration, and networking.

Vision: All women diagnosed with cancer, others with breast cancer, and their loved ones live lives filled with wisdom, wellness, fellowship, and peace.

We are a 501(c)(3) public charity. Read our annual report.

Carolyn Nelson
Executive Director

What We Offer
Regular meetings are the lifeblood of Friends After Diagnosis because we find the best support comes from those who can draw from their own experience. Each month there are meetings that are open to patients, survivors, and their loved ones and caregivers. All meetings provide time for open discussion, and there is an educational guest speaker once per month.

Wellness programming is the other primary way that survivors use Friends to enhance their lives. Through partnerships with other organizations, Friends offerings include programs in Pilates, equine-assisted therapy, crew rowing, and dance fitness.

These programs and other special events foster fellowship that helps survivors feel more connected and secure in the knowledge that they have friends who truly care.


The idea for a support group occurred to breast cancer survivor Lin Reading in 2010 after her mother Kathy’s disease returned for a third time, and she learned that no such group existed in Indian River County. During the same time period, survivor Fran Basso met a four-year survivor who continued to face cancer-related challenges, and the two agreed to volunteer at the Indian River Medical Center Cancer Center to provide support for others. Lin met Fran, and they decided to combine their efforts into the group that would become Friends After Diagnosis. In 2017, Friends merged with the Treasure Coast Ovarian Cancer Alliance and expanded its service to include those touched by women’s cancers. In 2018, in recognition of the growing need within the community, Friends expanded again to begin serving all women with cancer, people with breast cancer, and their loved ones.

Board of Directors
Beckett Horner, Maureen O’Grady-Sheehan, Delores Penn, Dr. Daniela Shapiro, Suzy Stoeckel, Andrew Streeter