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Personal Stories

My health provider gave me a second chance at life through preventative care

I have a long family history with cancer. My father was a BRCA2 mutation carrier, and passed away from prostate cancer. My aunt died from breast cancer in her late 40’s. I also lost my grandmother after a long battle with both breast and ovarian cancer…she was a fighter! So when my gynecologist informed me that I carry the BRCA2 gene mutation, it was hard to stay positive.

Luckily, I am fortunate to be under the care of a doctor who really believes in holistic care for her patients. After I tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, she was every bit as concerned with my mental health as she was about the preventative steps I would take to reduce my risk of cancer. She really took the extra step to make sure I would get the support I needed. That’s how I learned about Bright Pink.

My doctor felt strongly that support from Bright Pink was so important to navigating the healthcare maze that is having a genetic mutation linked to high incidence of breast and ovarian cancer, and she was right.

Through Bright Pink, I got the support and information that I needed as I went through my journey to manage my risk. Ultimately, after a lot of consideration and consultation with my OB/GYN, I made the decision to undergo a double mastectomy, reconstruction and oophorectomy.

I truly feel like I’ve been given a second chance, and because of that, I feel that I need to be an advocate for prevention and early detection! Joining Team Bright Pink turned out to be the perfect outlet.

As a very active woman living with the BRCA2 gene mutation, I want to show other women in this situation that being BRCA+ does not have to be a death sentence.

It is super scary, and you have to go through a lot of testing, doctors appointments and maybe even surgeries, but this is a chance to live your life! That’s why I chose to participate in Iron Man Chattanooga. I felt really compelled to use the race as a platform for cancer prevention and early detection.

I am so thankful that I’ve had the support of Bright Pink. They’ve really helped me feel like I am not alone, which is so important when dealing with what can be an overwhelming and scary medical situation. I am glad I got to show my gratitude and give back by fundraising and representing Team Bright Pink at the Iron Man Chattanooga!

Jennifer is sharing her story to demonstrate the importance of being able to have open and honest conversations about your family history and breast & ovarian cancer risk levels with your health provider. Learn more about how Bright Pink is equipping more health providers like Jennifer’s on the latest risk assessment and management techniques.

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