The Breast Cancer Warrior

by Womens Toolbox • Member { View Profile }

In the state of Massachusetts, Julie Nations is recognized as one of the state’s leaders in holistic breast cancer support services.  In 2008, she was honored by Bright Starts as a national Pink Power Mom.

Julie serves her community through inspirational service and dedication as Executive Director of The Ellie Fund, a 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to fighting breast cancer and easing its effects on patients and families by providing transportation to medical appointments, childcare, housekeeping, groceries and nutritious meals to more than 500 patients and family members each year.

Julie started volunteering for The Ellie Fund 15 years ago; after she met Ellie Fund Co-Founder Jeff Popkin and was inspired by the dedication he and his brother exemplified by creating The Ellie Fund in honor of their mother (Ellie) and her courageous nine year battle against breast cancer.

When Julie joined The Ellie Fund in 2005 as its first full-time director, the budget was just $45,000 and there was no staff or office. With hard work and dedication, The Ellie Fund is now raising $400,000 and serving more than 500 breast cancer patients and family members annually. The program has become well known across Massachusetts for its wonderful Patient Service Coordinators, personalized approach to caregiving, and wise use of donated funds and resources.

Julie’s work with the Ellie Fund is only part of her dedication to families as she is also an active member of her local Mothers of Twins Association, and patient advisor to her mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer last in June in San Francisco.

Julie’s contagious enthusiasm for the mission of The Ellie Fund has profound ripple effects across Massachusetts. She is constantly lending her expertise and creative support to nonprofits in the area including the Wellness Community South Shore, Heaps of Hope, and Learn, Live Love. She can often be found at Galas, Walk-a-Thons, and additional benefit events, volunteering at the check-in desk, silent auction, and more. This Fall she even co-starred in The MOMologues: Pink Ribbon Overdose, a new staged reading starring a film actress and local television celebrities. Julie had some trepidation over such a daunting task, in addition to her regular duties as full time working mom, “I hadn’t acted in over 25 years. It was great to be part of such a talented cast and help raise money in such a creative way!”

Even when confined to bed rest at Newton Wellesley Hospital for nine weeks with twins on the way, Julie continued to be a positive role model, volunteering in the maternity ward, and displaying her unwavering strength to her toddler son, Jake, who stayed close to her side as she continued to effectively run The Ellie Fund day in and day out via her laptop and cell phone. 

Today an executive at a multi-million dollar corporation in Boston’s Financial District will sit at a desk and review the company’s projected sales forecasts for 2011. This person will go to bed tonight feeling productive about her day. 20 miles outside the same city, Julie Nations will leave her office and head home to make dinner and put her three kids to bed, then open her lap top with the note that reminds her that 4,480 new breast cancers cases will be opened in MA this year. A few hours later, she will go to sleep inspired, ready to make a difference again the next day in the lives of hundreds of breast cancer patients and families.

Julie’s hard work and determination on behalf of families makes her an inspiration (and a blessing) to Moms and families everywhere!

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