Statement from Kathy Ehley, president, ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
RE: Melodie Wilson Oldenburg
We are deeply saddened by Melodie Wilson Oldenburg’s passing and our hearts go out to her family. But we are also extraordinarily grateful for her vision of what could be and the legacy she leaves for those diagnosed with breast cancer. ABCD will continue under the leadership of a strong board of directors and the support of hundreds of mentors. ABCD will preserve and build upon Melodie’s legacy, assuring that all breast cancer patients, along with their families and friends, will always have free, one-to-one mentoring and personalized support available to them.
As the founder of ABCD, Melodie believed that the most valuable information and support in dealing with life’s challenges came from others who had experienced similar life circumstances. This is especially true for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Much more than biopsies, surgery and chemotherapy, Melodie knew personally that successfully coping with a breast cancer diagnosis involves addressing a multitude of emotional, relationship and physical difficulties. She founded ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis in 1999 to provide the service that she and others did not find when she was first diagnosed.
Building on her belief in “the power of one-to-one,” Melodie and ABCD’s founders created an organization that compassionately pairs breast cancer patients with trained mentor volunteers who have similar demographic and diagnosis backgrounds. In its first decade, ABCD has matched over 3,000 people and provided education and resources to thousands more, including family and friends of breast cancer patients.
In addition to founding and leading the organization as its president for its first nine years, Melodie always made time to speak personally with those touched by this disease. Her adamant drive to ensure that every patient is offered ABCD’s free mentoring service was coupled with her deeply caring approach to every patient and survivor she met.
If you wish to donate a gift in memory of Melodie, please make note of it on your donation.