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Breast cancer ran in my family. I lost my mother when I was 19, and she was 40. I also lost my grandmother and great-grandmother, so it was no surprise when my gyn wanted me to be tested. I tested BRCA1 positive, and so began my journey at age 34. I had preventative surgery that included double mastectomies with delayed implant reconstruciton. I also had a complete hysterectomy. I was blessed that my insurance covered a large portion of my testing as well as my treatment. It was helpful in that my aunt (my mother's sister) also tested BRCA1 and went through this process at approxiamtely the same time. We were able to lean on each other and share our stories, which we found were very different even though the treatment plan was the same. We found that different facilities approach things differently. In any event, we both are well on the mend and made the right choice for us. I'm 36, and I am truly grateful for this test and the options presented to me. In this picture, I am sharing a moment with my great-aunt. I may not have my mother any longer, but thanks to her brave determination and commitment to clinical trials in 1992, we are here today to share this moment.
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