Ladun grew up in Pennsylvania where she had an opportunity to learn about broadcast journalism for her school's closed-circuit television station. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's in mass communications. She met her husband, sportscaster Doug Bell while working at a television station in Gainesville. The couple moved to Peoria, Illinois for five years before coming to Birmingham. Ladun worked at WBRC 6 from 1987 to 1996 before joining the staff at ABC 33/40.
Ladun is a five-time winner of the Alabama Associated Press Awards for Best Investigative Reporter and Best Specialized Reporter. She has also won for Best Anchor.
In 2001 Ladun was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy. During her recovery she took up running and has competed in several marathons. In 2007, after a period of apparent remission, the cancer returned. Ladun points to her faith as the foundation of her strength to fight the disease. She is a regional spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and has written two books about her recovery. For a special series she aired about breast cancer she was given the Edward R. Murrow Award for Radio and Television Journalism.
- Ladun, Brenda (2003) Getting Better, Not Bitter: A Spiritual Prescription for Breast Cancer. New Hope Publishers
- Ladun, Brenda (2007) Behind the Scenes of Breast Cancer. New Hope Publishers. ISBN 1596690917
- Garrison, Greg (September 29, 2007) "Helping others find faith, hope, comfort." The Birmingham News
- Stroud, Laurie (July 2001) "Brenda's Mission" Birmingham Christian Family.