Twist on Cancer: As my genetics doctor once told me, I was dealt with a bad deck of cards, it's true, but it's what you do with that deck that helps you move forward and deal with all that life throws your way. My story starts when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was two. She was a fighter, yet eight years later she lost her battle. I wish I could say that was the end of my cancer story, but it’s not. Just a few years later, my grandpa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His fight was far too short.
By the time my grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer, I began to believe that developing breast cancer myself was my destiny. After college, I met with a genetics counselor and made an action plan for early detection and genetic testing. I am not a carrier for any known cancer genes, it blows my mind given the amount of cancer in my family. Regardless of my genes, my family has hereditary breast cancer and I decided to move forward with a prophylactic double mastectomy, my opportunity to change my destiny.
I grew up fearing my breasts. As an adult, I have learned there is nothing to fear, there is so much that you can do to be proactive and make a plan – today we can take life’s choices into our own hands. Participating in this year is so special to me because this year marks ten years since my surgery.