Keith Mardak Challenge Grant is Underway!


Keith Mardak, Chairman and CEO of the Hal Leonard Corporation, has offered ABCD a four-year, $2 million challenge grant to launch the Mardak 2020 Breast Cancer Initiative, a comprehensive outreach program to increase awareness about ABCD’s free, personalized, non-clinical support services to anyone affected by breast cancer

Matched in part with ABCD’s own fundraising, this grant is the largest single gift in our 18-year history and will allow us to significantly expand our services. To ensure receipt of the full match, ABCD must increase and raise an additional $250,000 year after year.  Every dollar raised counts toward this goal.  Donate today!

Each year, we touch thousands of lives through phone calls, emails, social media and community events, and it makes a difference.

  • With the challenge grant, we foresee doubling the number of people we serve each year by deepening and expanding relationships with healthcare facilities, making a significant investment in marketing and outreach initiatives, and expanding services to underserved populations.
  • Our goal is that every woman or man who is diagnosed or living with breast cancer knows about ABCD and has access to our critical services, starting right here in Southeastern Wisconsin.
  • In 2017, we made 317 Participant-Mentor matches and directly served 1500 people across the country by providing short-term support, information sharing, and referrals.
  • Decades of research[1] indicate that patients who take advantage of non-clinical support like ABCD’s are more likely to finish treatment, have improved “survival” rates, show a reduced risk of recurrence, and report experiencing less distress, healthier social relationships, and an improved quality of life.

ABCD Mentors are the heart of our services

  • We have more than 275 Mentors representing almost every type of breast cancer diagnosis – from more common diagnoses like invasive ductal carcinoma to less frequent such as triple negative breast cancer – and at every stage, including metastatic.
  • Our current Mentors range in age from 28 to 90, and are a cross section of races, religions, and socio-economic levels.
  • All services can be conducted over the phone or via email, in English or Spanish, and are available to anyone in the United States or around the world. We currently have Mentors who speak French, Polish, Russian, Portuguese and Ukranian.
  • Based on the generous support of our donors, all ABCD services have been and always will be free.
  • High quality peer support takes more than good intentions; it takes preparation and training. ABCD Mentors are breast cancer survivors and co-survivors who are at least one year past diagnosis.  Each Mentor has attended a 12-hour training session to learn how to provide peer support.  ABCD staff is available as needed to help coach and guide the Mentor-Participant relationship, and we regularly host in-person or virtual continuing education programming to keep Mentors current and well-informed about the latest breast cancer research and treatment updates.

While science searches for a cure, we are here today to serve anyone diagnosed with breast cancer.[2]  

  • Over a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • As of January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.
  • About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2018. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

[1] National Cancer Institute, Office of Cancer Survivorship,, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship



If you have questions about the Mardak Challenge Grant, please contact Ellen Friebert Schupper, ABCD Executive Director, at 414-977-1785 or

Click Here to Read the Press Release

Help Support ABCD by Donating Today!