Donor Spotlight

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Donor Spotlight


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Donor Spotlight on Linda Shecter

Linda Shecter is a 19-year ovarian cancer survivor.  She stood out to the FORCE staff as an early, generous lead donor to the HBOC Hero Campaign in autumn 2018 with a donation significantly greater than her past support.  FORCE pooled Linda’s gift with other pacesetter donations.  Lead donations of $65,000 provided a dollar-for-dollar match pool for all year-end donations.

“I whole-heartedly support the very important, vital work being done through FORCE,” says Linda, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.  “One of my daughters has also become very involved with FORCE, helping others in her Canadian community.

Linda first found FORCE through a web search around 2006.  After undergoing and surviving ovarian cancer treatment, she insisted on having genetic testing.  The results of her genetic test, at that time, were ambiguous.  “My genetic variant was only found in one other person in the entire Myriad pool,” Linda notes. 

“My family history has some shocking facts which never seemed to be any concern to other family members as none would consider genetic testing,” says Linda. “My father’s sister had breast cancer at 42.  All of my dad’s aunts had breast cancer.  His three female cousins had breast cancer as did three of their children.” While she found her vague genetic test results odd, she followed the clinical advice she received of surveillance, having a breast MRI alternating with mammograms every six months. 

“Fast forward six years, I am diagnosed with breast cancer and I am at the hospital when my cell phone rings with news from my genetic counsellor that my variant has been declared deleterious,” says Linda. “At last, we know the devil we face and have the opportunity to tame the outcome!  It seems that a group of Greeks in Greece and Melbourne had the same variant with the expected result of breast and ovarian cancer.”

FORCE became “a beacon of hope” for Linda.  “I was totally ignorant as to what lay ahead for me and my family. Decisions had to be made,” notes Linda.  “My case was presented at the hospital’s grand rounds, but treatment recommendations were split.  The advice I received from FORCE was more helpful,” says Linda.  “Here was a large community that had life experiences that were invaluable to me.  I was given advice to follow up on that ultimately saved my life,” she says.  “I was able to ask questions, find resources and get the support necessary.”

Another odd coincidence is that while genetic mutations have a high incidence in the Jewish population, and Linda had converted to Judaism, her background is of Italian origin.  Linda has two daughters, both of whom carry genetic mutations.  “They also used FORCE to guide them during their journeys,” she said.  “I’m so grateful to FORCE for all the help.”

Linda declares, “We have six grandkids.  We are hoping for better diagnostic tools and research that will alter the gene.  Thank you, FORCE, for the great work that has made a difference in so many lives.” 

FORCE thanks Linda Shecter for sharing her story and for her generosity.  If you are interested in learning how you can become a HBOC Hero Leadership Donor in 2019 or wish to learn about other donation options, please contact Marcy Rubic, VP of Leadership Gifts at (866) 288-7475 ext. 715 or

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