Promise Me Channel

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Meet Ellie Goodman, Nancy and Suzy's mom

My mother, Eleanor Tressa Neuman Goodman, was born in 1920. Her mother was a founding member of the Red Cross in her community. Growing up during the Great Depression, Mommy was accustomed to sleeping in the dining room whenever some displaced drifter needed a bed for the night. Raised in the Jewish faith, with a strong sense of stewardship and community, she learned early that charity isn’t about performing acts of kindness; it’s about the state of being kind.

Mommy didn’t want Suzy and me to participate in racially segregated summer camps, so she spearheaded efforts to procure the 640 wooded acres that became Camp Tapawingo, an inclusive, educational place where Girl Scout troops still gather to grow and learn. In addition to her organized charity work, she always performed small personal mercies: a casserole for someone just out of the hospital, a freshly folded basket of diapers, the weeding of a flowerbed, whatever she could do to lighten a neighbor’s load. Ellie Goodman always told me and Suzy: “When you see something that needs doing, do it. When you see a wrong, right it.”

After Suzy’s breast cancer diagnosis in 1977, Mom embodied the greatest qualities of a caregiver: patience, strength, calm, laughter through tears, grace under unimaginable pressure. In the decades since Suzy’s death, she's reached out to countless breast cancer patients and their families with that same boundless energy and unconditional love. For Ellie Goodman, faith incites purpose, compassion breeds generosity, and love becomes action. In the pages of Promise Me, she teaches us the very essence of stewardship at its truest and best.

The real story of Susan G. Komen for the Cure begins with Mommy, and she's been with us every step of the way.