North Shore Half Marathon, June 2, 2013
In February 2012, I tested positive for a genetic mutation (BRCA2) that greatly increases my risk of breast, ovarian, and a handful of other cancers. Learning that I had this mutation came as quite a shock - as my ethnicity and family medical history put me at low risk for carrying the mutation (my risk of having it was less than 3%) and I only tested for it to rule it out. Fortunately, I had come across FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) shortly before learning that I carry the BRCA2 mutation.
In my experience, living with a BRCA mutation means living in a very gray area that most folks, including doctors, don’t seem to understand or know much about. However, through FORCE, I’ve been able to connect with others who not only understand what I am experiencing but who share many of the same questions and concerns. Additionally, through FORCE, I am able to access the most up-to-date and relevant BRCA-related information available.
FORCE is the only national nonprofit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. FORCE’s mission includes support, education, advocacy, awareness, and research specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Its programs serve anyone with a BRCA mutation or a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.
The support, awareness, and information I have gained through FORCE has helped me to take charge of not only the course of my health care but also my life. Last year, FORCE gave me a full scholarship to attend their annual conference that featured presentations from some of the country's top researchers and doctors on the ins and outs of being at risk for hereditary cancer. The information I received has enabled me to develop a standard of care for myself that can help to minimize my risk of breast and ovarian cancer and to ensure early detection of other cancers for which I would not otherwise be screened.
Please consider supporting me in my effort to help FORCE to continue their work in research, advocacy, education, and support for families affected by hereditary cancer. Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
To learn more about FORCE and/or hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, please visit: www.facingourrisk.org