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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Nara A., Thornhill, Ontario

Quick Info About Me

 

Age: 35

Completing the surgeries without complications and being able to go back to doing the things I love to do!

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

Favorite book / authors:
Chick Lit

Favorite TV / Movies:
Keeping up with Kardashians, Real House Wives of Orange County & E News

Favorite Quote:
Reach for the moon, if you fall a star will catch you

Favorite Song:
I love Lenny Kravitz

Favorite Superhero:
I dont have one but my son loves Superman!

Other favorites?
Proudest moments: becoming a mom, caring for my mom, and starting a not-for-profit charity- Imagine A Cure for Leukemia

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My journey

On January 14, 2009 I found out that I carry the BRCA 1 gene. I tested for the gene because my best friend suggested that I participate in a study of Jewish women and the BRCA gene. I had no intention of doing it. She said "do it for me" so I did. I am grateful to for this gift of this knowledge and her friendship. My paternal grandmother and maternal great aunt had breast cancer (my grandmother passed away at age 94 and my great aunt in her late 70s both causes of death were not cancer). I lost my Mom and Grandfather to Leukemia. I have not had cancer. I had a full hysterectomy on my 35th birthday (April 6/09) and I had a PBM with immediate reconstruction using alloderm on July 28, 2009.

The hardest part of my journey

Waiting for surgery dates!! Exploring all of my surgical options and deciding what was best for me.

If I could do it over again

I would have done nothing different. I feel blessed knowing this information. I am lucky to be married to an amazing man who is extremely supportive of me, my health and the decision that we have had to make.

My participation with FORCE

I have found that reading about other people's experience, reading the message boards and connecting with other BRCA women helped me prepare myself for my surgeries.

Other thoughts

My beautiful, amazing, strong mom passed away after a challenging battle with Leukemia in October 2007. I never thought that the BRCA gene would be something that would affect me. After watching what my mom went through I don't want to fight that fight. I feel lucky that I greatly diminished my risks of developing breast and ovarian cancers by doing surgery.

The knowledge of my BRCA status has been empowering it allowed me to change the course of my history. It was a few months of hard times for a life time of good times. As I went through the many doctors appointments and recoveries from the surgeries I tried to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. I took care of myself by taking it easy and followed my doctors orders and had smooth recovery and was able to run 10km 6 weeks after both surgeries (with better time then I had pre-surgery).

Connect with others.

Our Chat Room

Our chat room allows you to communicate in real-time with others who have faced similar challenges. Check our chat room schedule to find out which weekly chat is right for you. Or, visit our Message Boards.

Join a Local Group

FORCE has outreach groups throughout the United States and in Essex, United Kingdom that meet periodically to offer peer support, and share resources.