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Volunteer Spotlight - Kim Horner

June 20, 2024

Volunteer Spotlight - Kim Horner

I was overwhelmed when I discovered in 2009 that I carry a BRCA2 mutation. I was the first person in my family to get tested and had never heard of BRCA mutations. I was 41; just a couple of years younger than my grandmother when she died of breast cancer and had a baby still in diapers.

Suddenly, I was spending hours on FORCE's website, reading all the information I could find. I posted questions on the message boards, started reading medical journal articles about BRCA2 mutations and attended FORCE's annual conference. I had my ovaries removed that year, but I agonized for years over whether to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. I couldn’t imagine how I would ever come to peace with a decision.

Thanks to FORCE and the wonderful women who posted and answered questions on the message boards, I eventually determined that a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy was the best decision for me. The pathology from my 2016 surgery found that I had ductal carcinoma in situ, which confirmed for me that I had made the right choice.

I wrote about my experiences in my book, Probably Someday Cancer: Genetic Risk and Preventative Mastectomy (University of North Texas Press, 2019). I am honored that Dr. Sue Friedman, FORCE’s founder and executive director, wrote the Foreword to the book.

I joined FORCE as a Community Group Leader volunteer in 2021 to give back to the organization and help others going through similar experiences. Like so many of the participants in the virtual support groups, I needed to talk with women who truly understood what I was going through. I’m grateful when I can be that person for someone else.

Posted in: Volunteer Spotlight
Tags: BRCA2 , Volunteer

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