About me

I am a 40 year old breast cancer survivor determined to make a difference in the world of cancer.  I am a mother of 3 young children with a hard working, supportive and dedicated husband. I am Managing Partner of Brogan & Partners–a fantastic company with a staff of strategic, creative and hard working individuals creating cutting edge marketing communications solutions for over 25 years.  I am forever grateful to my wonderful family, friends and coworkers who helped me through 9 months of surgeries, chemo treatments, doctors appointments and tests.

  1. Judith Krauss

    Hi Ellyn. I was moved to tears watching the video which Dad sent to me. You were inspirational and articulate, and I feel so proud that you are in my family.

    I will be in Detroit July 15th – 25th. I would be so delighted to see you, compare notes, and perhaps even compare breasts. I am moved to do more than I have already to advance the cause, and I thank you for that.

    Love, Judith

  2. Melissa Wolf-Litvin


    You are AMAZING!!! As I continue to tell any/everyone that is touched by cancer. You WILL make things happen I know. Stay well!!

    Melissa Wolf-Litvin

  3. Dear Ellyn,

    I am so glad that I met you at the FORCE meeting. Like Judith, I think you are inspirational and articulate. You are beautiful throughout and I am happy to be your friend. Cancer may stink, but if it brings us together, that’s a wonderful thing.

    Thank you for sharing your blog with me. Keep writing! It’s good for the soul.

    I’m looking forward to seeing you again.


  4. Dear Ellyn,

    I am pleased to see how your site has grown! As we approach Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many women came to mind, your story was very inspirational to me. There are several breast cancer awareness groups available to women. In Grand Rapids we have Gilda’s Club. I was invited to model along with other local media celebrities here in Grand Rapids, for the “Sister to Sister” program in October. This particular group within Gilda’s Club, is focused on African American women who are breast cancer survivors. The Sister to Sister organization are there to provide consultation to women who are going through the stages of treatment, as well as, provide counseling for those who need someone to talk to. I met this group years ago and received a beautiful calendar of women of color who were breast cancer survivors. Many of the women have not survived and those who did are no longer living here in Grand Rapids. The Sister to Sister organization has not been able to provide another calendar. However, I hope that they will do this again. WMFN AM 640 has provided women in the community with three health seminars, each seminar included Ellen Atkinson who was a dynamic speaker for Gilda’s Club. I was surprised as to how many women did not know how to self examine themselves, etc.

    In closing, I would like to thank you for providing a website such as this. I am sure that it has been a powerful instrument for those who need someone to talk to.

    God Bless,

    Portia Bynum

  5. Dear Ellyn:
    Please contact me.
    I would love to speak with you.
    I read about you in the JN.
    I am a 14 yr survivor of ovarian ca.
    warm regards,

  6. Dear Ellyn,
    I remember meeting you while waiting for my x-ray at Beaumont about two years ago. You mentioned that you had three young kids and you had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. You told me you would be having surgery, chemo, etc. and that your mom was taking it harder than you were. You were so optimistic and said your husband was very supportive. I never forgot you and frequently thought about you and wondered how you were doing. I was so happy to read your story in the Jewish News. I am so glad things went well for you and that you are over the surgery and treatment,and are back to work having a normal life. I was glad to read that there is genetic testing available because there seems to be a lot of colon cancer in my family, which puts us at risk for breast and ovarian cancer. I plan to look into it. You are a true inspiration. Take good care.
    With warmest regards,

    • Thank you so much for the nice message Jan. I’m truly touched that you have thought about me and remember me.


  7. Hey,
    Do like your blog and so agree that we need to fight this travesty.
    I blog over on open salon and have blogged about how this is already affecting poor women’s access to free state screening.
    Stephanie Hampton

  8. Ellyn –

    I walked my first 3-day this past year and met your aunt, Bunny, on a couple of training walks in Atlanta. I am really interested in your fundraising efforts and would love to speak to you about them – esp. the Spring Awakening idea. Thanks so much and I look forward to talking to you!

  9. Hi.  I’m putting together a database of blogs for FORCE and wanted to know if we can add your email to it so we can send you important updates that you may want to add to your blog from time to time.  If that’s ok please send me your email and include the name of your blog (because I’m contacting several blogs!). Thank you so much.

  10. Hi. Is it ok to add your email to FORCE database? If so please send me your email & include the name of your blog. THANKS!

  11. Hi there Ellyn,

    I didn’t want to leave this as a comment, but I was unsure how to get in touch with you otherwise. I wanted to share an opportunity with you and your readers that recognizes and empowers women who have persevered through breast cancer like yourself.

    Each year, Bright Starts™ honors and rewards eight women for their inspirational fight against breast cancer. These women have persevered through their battles and continue to be role models for their family and communities. We will reward the eight winning Pink Power Moms with:

    – A $5,000 Donation to the breast cancer charity of her choice
    – A weekend of pampering with all 8 of the Pink Power Mom winners
    – A chance to be selected as the Bright Starts™ Pink Power Super Mom and to receive additional charity donations plus appear in a Bright Starts™ print advertising campaign
    – For more information, please visit http://www.pinkpowermom.com

    We would love you to help our Pink Power Mom nomination campaign by becoming a Fan of Bright Starts™ on Facebook and Be a Giver, as well as share the campaign with your readers. Through the end of June, Bright Starts™ will donate $1 for every new fan that joins us during the campaign to benefit Pink Power Mom breast cancer charities. http://www.facebook.com/BrightStarts

    We would also love you and your readers to share your stories about the deserving moms in your lives. We encourage you to recognize and empower these amazing women by encouraging your readers to submit their own Pink Power Mom stories through commenting on your blog. When we award our Pink Power Mom of the Year in October, we’ll ask that you announce your blog’s winner. We’ll send this very special mom some of her own Bright Starts™ products.

    Last but certainly not least, if one of the national Pink Power Moms chosen is one of your readers, you will receive the opportunity to travel with them to Atlanta for the Pink Power Mom awards and the Pink Power Mom pampering weekend.

    If you’re interested in writing about any of the above, please let me know. I’d love to discuss a few different ways that you can present these opportunities. We also have artwork and graphics available for use upon request.

    We look forward to hearing from you,


  12. Sandy Hayashi

    Dear Ellyn,

    We are huge fans of My Life as a Breast Cancer Survivor over at Glam Media! We’re one of the top 10 online media companies in the US and would love for you to help pilot our new Health & Wellness Community at Bliss.com, slated to launch in the coming weeks.

    If you’re interested, please contact me about joining our community for the launch!


    Sandy Hayashi
    Community Partners Editor
    Glam Media

  13. Ellyn,

    You are an inspiration to everyone. Not just those that are or were in your situation but also to people realizing what they have here and now. Thanks for this blog.

    Paul Serra
    Owner, STbands.com
    Sweatbands for Breast Cancer Awareness

  14. Hi Ellyn,

    My name is Courtney Packard and I applaud your bravery in your stance against breast cancer and I admire your desire to support the cause for others who are devastated by this disease. Since your blog is appropriately named “Life After Cancer”, I wanted to share a very special book with you. I am a publicist working with Anastacia Faraci and her new book, To Love Honor and Cherish, a romantic story of two people faced with insurmountable obstacles in the form of breast cancer. And I was wondering if you would possibly be interested in reviewing a free copy of her book for your blog.

    Anastacia Faraci had just begun writing a book about a journey and the circumstances surrounding breast cancer that was sparked by a dream, when she felt the need to schedule a check-up for herself. It was at that check-up that Faraci was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. The story and the book that evolved actually saved her life.

    The end result was To Love, Honor & Cherish, a love story for all time, a book that follows the amazing journey of a nurse stricken with breast cancer and the doctor that falls in love with her. Faraci is able to answer the questions that both men and women may have when faced with this disease: questions relating to life-expectancy, treatment, and of course, intimacy and love relationships. To Love, Honor & Cherish, a love story for all time seeks to remind those dealing with this disease that there is life and love after breast cancer.

    Thank you for time and I apologize that I wasn’t able to send this email to you privately.

    Please feel free to contact me if you are interested!

  15. Stefanie bloch


    I think your support to Susan komen is great. However, I think they should change their modo to walk what you can, raise what you can to support breast cancer. They also shouldn’t limit someone from walking because they haven’t raised the minimum. Maybe they have shorter walks and be able to raise more money.

    I am a survivor as well almost 6 years and have had two kids after having breast cancer.


    • Hi Stefanie. Thank you for your comment and congratulations on 6 years. In terms of the fundraising, I love the Detroit Race for the Cure for that reason. Everyone can walk. That being said, if you do want to walk the 3-Day, you can join my team and I will gladly help you raise the money. I do that for all my team members. Many past and current Ta Ta Breast Cancer team members will tell you that fundraising should never be a deterrent.

  1. Pingback: Celebrating Women Surviving, Inspiring, and Blogging with Cancer : Healthy Life

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