Voices of FORCE

There are so many stories on FORCE and so many members willing to share their experiences. We hope these profiles can help you connect with our community and get advice from people like you!

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Donna Amendola, Avon, Ohio

Quick Info About Me


Age: 41

I received my breast cancer diagnosis on June 18, 2012. I then found out I was BRCA2 positive. I learned of FORCE and attended the 2012 Conference.

I'm more than my risk… some fun facts about myself:

Favorite book / authors:
"The Help"

Favorite TV / Movies:
"Escape from Alcatraz"

Favorite Quote:
"Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying"

Favorite Song:
"I am Titanium"

Favorite Superhero:
Wonder Woman

Other favorites?
I love to dance, read, spend time with family and friends and travel!

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My journey

I am 41 years old and I had a routine Mammogram in May of 2012. I received my breast cancer diagnosis on June 18, 2012. My breast surgeon sent me to a geneticst and since I am considered "young" to get this. My dear Mother passed away from pancreatic cancer at age 55 in 6 short weeks so I give my breast surgeon and geneticist a lot of credit for testing me for BRCA. I decided on a double mastectomy with reconstruction. After my surgery I found out I was BRCA2 positive. I found this website through a brochure. I then went to a gynecological oncologist and had a total hysterectomy on September 26, 2012. My "exchange surgery" is December 4, 2012! I have a Wonderful Husband, Mark and two beautiful sons Connor (9) and Cole (8). I attended the FORCE Convention for the first time on October 18, 2012. I am so happy I have this resource and made so many new friends to navigate this journey together!

The hardest part of my journey

The hardest part of my journey has been accepting the BRCA2 diagnosis and processing everything it means. I know now I am NOT alone and I can do it and make a difference!

If I could do it over again

Absolutely not. When I make a decision I go for it! It may take me awhile to make a decision but when I do I gather the facts, take the emotions out proceed for myself, family and friends!

My participation with FORCE

Absolutely! I could not get through this journey alone. I told my husband, when I came to the Conference I had a "FORCE" shield around me and so much support and kindred spirits from all over the US and World.

Other thoughts

I am happy and fortunate my breast cancer was caught early due to early detection of yearly Mammograms! I am Blessed to have found out my BRCA2 status as well, ultimately.

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered