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Business is Personal - Ellen's Story

Ellen's world changed forever in 2011. Several years before, she and her husband, Jonathan Fischer, a beloved high school teacher, had moved to their 200-year-old farmhouse on the banks of the Isinglass River in Barrington, New Hampshire. Best friends from the moment they met, they had carved out a hard-working, active family life, with friends forever hanging out by the wood stove in the kitchen, the heart of their home.

In late 2011, Jonathan was diagnosed with cancer. Soon, his doctors delivered news no one wants to hear. His prognosis was not good.

Throughout the long months that followed, Ellen cared for Jonathan and continued to grow Growth Chart Art. It was her business -- living with color, design, and ideas in her paint-splattered studio -- that got her through these tough times. "When you're dealing with terminal illness, there's only one possibility. When I went to work, there was a future. And it was my business that gave me the optimism and energy to get my kids through this tough time as well."

Several months after being diagnosed, Jonathan passed away. Ellen's son Nathan was six; her daughter, Evelyn, was 9.

Today, Ellen and Growth Chart Art are committed to helping other families dealing with difficult challenges. Growth Chart Art gives to several child-centric charitable organizations and is a coporate sponsor of On-belay.org. On-Belay provides recreational programs that build community and foster resilience for children and teens who have a parent or sibling suffering from cancer, or who have lost a family member to cancer. www.on-belay.org

"With the help of family, friends and my business, I've crawled out of a very dark place and I want to help others do the same" says Ellen.