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Dianne Gunther: BRCA+ and #NotDoneYet

In 2011, I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, which put me at high risk for both breast and ovarian cancer.

Receiving the news that I carried the potentially life-changing mutation was certainly frightening, but my future instantly started looking brighter once my doctor handed me a “Little Bright Book” that introduced me to Bright Pink.

After attending an Outreach event, where I met other young high-risk women who had undergone prophylactic surgery, my options started to seem less scary and I started thinking that surgery might be the right choice for me. I remained proactive by getting annual MRIs for several years, and when the timing was right for me, I decided to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in October 2015 at age 27. This means that I had my healthy breast tissue removed to lower my risk of developing cancer. I can now proudly say that my lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 5%!

Today, I volunteer as a Bright Pink Support Ambassador in Boston, which means that I organize monthly Outreach events for high-risk women in the Boston area. I continue to be impressed by the women I meet each month, and I look forward to both new and familiar faces. We talk about scary medical procedures, awkward dating scenarios, losing loved ones to cancer, and any other challenging experiences unique to young, high-risk women.

I chose to run the Chicago Marathon for Bright Pink because Bright Pink has had such a personal impact on my life.

I run for Team Bright Pink to raise money for Outreach events and resources, like the ones that were so helpful to me on my high-risk journey, and also to support the educational programs that empower ALL women to take control of their own health.

On a more personal level, the Chicago Marathon took place on October 9, 2016 — roughly one year after my surgery. I truly believe that Bright Pink has helped make my future infinitely brighter, and when I ran on October 9, I was thinking of how grateful I am to have a better chance at a healthy future ahead of me and the opportunity to share Bright Pink’s message with others.


Dianne is sharing her story to help demonstrate the importance of genetic testing and being proactive with breast and ovarian health. Dianne is #NotDoneYet until all women are educated about breast & ovarian cancer prevention and early detection. Donate to help make that possible.

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