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

Learn More >

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

No Need to Explain

No Need to Explain

Have you ever felt backed into a corner by a personal question or comment that you didn’t want to answer? I certainly have. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable in a conversation…

Making the Most Out of Life’s Wake Up Calls

Making the Most Out of Life’s Wake Up Calls

This is not about our morning alarm clock or a call from the concierge’s desk, this is about life waking us up when there is something that we’ve been ignoring…

Radiating Inner Beauty

Radiating Inner Beauty

There’s a certain kind of person that we just feel good being around. It has nothing to do with how they look on the outside and everything to do with…

Living With Uncertainty

Living With Uncertainty

Change is a part of life and change often brings uncertainty. None of us can avoid the unexpected. As John Allen Paulos wrote, “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is,…

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.