Close Icon
Browsing Tag

women’s health

Carrie's family
Personal Stories

“My mother’s strength inspired me to face my fears”

On January 29th, 2007, my mom sat my brother and I down and gave us some news that would change all of our lives. She had breast cancer. She said everything was going to be okay, it wasn’t going to be a big deal, and she wasn’t even going to lose her hair.

Then her doctors found more cancer. Ultimately, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer which had spread from both breasts to her lymphatic system. After a fierce, courageous, and exhausting battle with chemo and radiation, the removal of her breasts and ovaries, and finally reconstructive surgery, my mother is incredibly blessed to be cancer free, a fate that not many stage 4 patients achieve.

Even after dealing with everything she did, my mom is still incredibly full of life. She is loving, considerate, and loves to be around family and friends, whether it be getting together for a holiday or just to watch the latest season of The Bachelor.

After my mom reached 5 years cancer-free, I was under the impression that the impact that cancer had on my life would finally be a thing of the past. This was until I went to my school’s health center freshman year of college and the doctor asked about my mom’s cancer, specifically whether she had a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.

It was in that moment that the doctor hijacked a conversation that my mom had been preparing to have with me for 5 years.

As it turned out, my mom did test positive for genes that are correlated with breast cancer, meaning that I also may have these same genes. It has taken me quite a while to process this information and what it could mean about my lifestyle and my health. For years, I’ve been too scared to do genetic testing. The initial fear came from the shock of learning that my mom had the gene.

I have grappled with the idea of genetic testing for a while and have now decided that I am ready to accept the results, regardless of what they are.

This summer I set a goal: I would run the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon to show myself that I can live the healthy lifestyle that I would need if I found out I have the genetic predisposition (but even if I don’t, it’s always good to be healthy!) Once I complete the marathon, I will do the testing.

I have wanted to run the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon ever since my senior year of high school. It has always been an influential part of my upbringing, whether it be by cheering on my father while he ran when I was a kid, or volunteering as a high school student giving water to the thousands of runners who passed in front of me. After four years of volunteering at the race, I decided that it’s finally time to run the race myself.

I knew I wanted to run for charity and the first organization I looked at was Bright Pink. I immediately knew it was the one for me, not only because of my family’s experience with breast cancer, but because Bright Pink’s mission is so aligned with my own beliefs and experience.

I want to empower young women by sharing my story and my journey while preparing for the marathon and show the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and being proactive to prevent breast and ovarian cancer.

To be honest, I’ve been afraid of getting genetic testing done since my mom’s diagnosis. But her strength has inspired me to take the necessary steps to be proactive about my health. Running a marathon won’t be easy, but I know that once I’ve finished it, I’ll feel strong enough to take on whatever comes next.

 

 

Carrie was inspired to change her lifestyle and learn more about her genetics because of her mother’s cancer diagnosis and genetic predisposition. This Mother’s Day, #GoAskYourMother about your family health history and learn more about genetics at ExploreYourGenetics.org.

Risk-Reduction Lifestyle, Video

What I Ate In A Day (to reduce my risk of breast & ovarian cancer)

 

What I Ate In A Day (to reduce my risk of breast & ovarian cancer) from Bright Pink on Vimeo.

Who knew that reducing your risk for breast and ovarian cancer could be so delicious? Bright Pink team member Cavya does, and she’s sharing her mouth-watering recipes below!

Bright Pink Smoothie Bowl

This super tasty smoothie bowl is a breeze to whip together and will probably make your Instagram dreams come true. And if that’s not enough to sell you, nutrient-packed ingredients like berries, tropical fruit, and flax seeds can help you lower your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. What more could you want?

Ingredients

  • Smoothie
    • ½ cup frozen strawberries
    • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
    • ½ cup greek yogurt
    • ½ cup almond milk
  • Toppings
    • ½ cup mango chunks
    • 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
    • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
    • ¼ cup raspberries

Directions:

Blend together frozen berries, greek yogurt and almond milk into a thick smoothie. Pour into a bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Feel like a goddess of health and wellness.

Vegan Lentil Curry with Brown Rice

This quick and simple curry packs in tons of protein and flavor and is the perfect go-to for #MeatlessMondays. Consuming high amounts of red meat has been proven to increase your risk of breast cancer, so cutting down whenever possible is always a great idea. Plus, a ton of these ingredients are on our cancer fighting grocery list

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of fresh, minced ginger
  • 1 jalapeño, diced with seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dried red chili pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp whole or ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown rice

Directions:

Cook brown rice according to package directions. In a medium saucepan, saute onions, garlic, ginger and jalapeño in olive oil until soft. Add in spices (mustard seeds, dried chili, turmeric, cumin and curry powder) and let them toast for about 30 seconds. Add in diced tomato, coconut milk, water, salt, pepper and lentils, simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and fully cooked. Add in baby spinach and stir. Serve over brown rice garnished with cilantro, a lime wedge, and a side of your favorite veggie.

We know you’ll love these delicious, risk-reducing recipes. If you try them out, make sure to post your finished product on Instagram and tag @BeBrightPink so we can ❤️️  your pic!

X

Join the Bright Pink Movement

Be the first to hear progress updates, inspiring stories, and new ways you can act to prevent breast and ovarian cancer.

BP Loading
Thanks for your patience as we process your information. You'll be redirected shortly.
X

One more step to get signed up for breast and ovarian health updates.

We just need a little information and you'll be all set!

BP Loading
Thanks for your patience as we process your information. You'll be redirected shortly.