Who We Are

Friends After Diagnosis

About Us

The idea for a cancer support group for women occurred to three different individuals, whose combined efforts launched our organization. 

Hearing the words “YOU HAVE CANCER” have to be the scariest words you will ever hear in your life. I am not sure how I survived my initial battle, but I do know that without the help, open door, list of ladies to call or just someone to encourage and guide me, I would have had an extremely difficult time. Everyone who has heard those three dreaded words needs to have access to Friends After Diagnosis.

Maureen O'Grady-Sheehan President | Friends After Diagnosis

With the support of Friends After Diagnosis, women have access to resources from diagnosis, through treatment, and beyond.

Today, Friends offers support meetings, whole health workshops, wellness programming and personal services such as mastectomy bras, wigs and breast prostheses. We also offer supportive services for those in active treatment to include referrals and direct assistance with groceries, housekeeping, transportation, and utilities. It really does make a difference to have ‘Friends.’

Fran Basso Co-Founder | Breast Cancer Survivor
    Friends After Diagnosis

    Board of Directors

    Maureen O'Grady-Sheehan

    Board President

    Suzy Stoeckel

    Board Vice President

    Delores Penn

    Board Director

    Our Advisors

    Andrew Streeter

    Financial Advisor

    Our Staff

    Carolyn Thornton Nelson

    Executive Director

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    Mary Nolan

    Equine Therapy Coordinator

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    Pamela Meredith

    Aquatics Coordinator

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    Sylvia Swanson

    Messages of Hope Author

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    Suzy Stoeckel

    Rowing Coordinator

    Friends After Diagnosis

    Jamie Burger-Ramjiawan

    Support Meeting Facilitator

    Friends After Diagnosis

    Fran Basso

    Equine Therapy Coordinator

    Friends After Diagnosis

    Read Our Blog

    Messages of Hope

    A Thanksgiving Blessing

    A Thanksgiving Blessing

    This year when gathered round the table Exalt gratitude like tradition evokes. Be thankful for all that you have, give, love, and know. Bless the food, the chefs, the earth.…

    Making the Most of Our Thresholds

    Making the Most of Our Thresholds

    Standing at a threshold, which is a place of change, is a theme that repeats itself throughout our life. Thresholds can represent both large and small events, carrying a variety…

    Come As You Are

    Come As You Are

    It’s tempting to identify ourselves by our job title, financial status, personal circumstances, physical fitness or affiliations. Where does that leave us when our marriage implodes, we lose our job…

    The Threads of Life

    The Threads of Life

    Threads have a long history of telling personal stories. History tells us that textiles were the language of the French elite who specialized in visual messaging through their clothing and…

    Our Story

    Fran Basso and Tammy Blackwill, both breast cancer survivors, met while attending a local cancer symposium.After a brief conversation, the two of them decided that more support was needed in the local community to support women with breast cancer. The two agreed to volunteer at the Indian River Medical Center Cancer Center to provide support for others. Around the same time, breast cancer survivor Lin Reading’s mother had cancer return for a third time. She too learned that no support group existed in Indian River County. 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, anyone diagnosed with breast cancer, and their loved ones.