The FORCE Blog
Our blog features information and personal perspectives on topics of interest to the hereditary cancer community.

Stay up to date on research and information

Sign Up for FORCE Newsletters
Education > Our Blog > Volunteer Spotlight - Laurie Spiegel

Your information is used for the sole purpose of sending information about hereditary cancer and updates on FORCE programs and campaigns. To stop receiving these updates, click unsubscribe at the bottom of any email. If you need additional support, or have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Volunteer Spotlight - Laurie Spiegel

July 01, 2020

Volunteer Spotlight - Laurie Spiegel

Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While waiting to be seen at the radiologist’s office, I picked up a FORCE brochure and tucked it in my folder. Then an MRI revealed cancer in my other breast, and I was shocked! A light bulb went off ‒ I whipped out the FORCE brochure and started reading. I am Jewish and of Ashkenazi descent, but as far as I knew, no one in my line had ever had breast cancer. After testing positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation, I was ready to choose the right surgeries for me.

FORCE was the key to discovering my genetic mutation, enabling me to make informed decisions to protect my health. Today I am well, and I am immensely proud to be part of the FORCE team. I am a trained Peer Navigator and Research Advocate and a regular at our Northern New Jersey Support group meetings. I get special satisfaction from speaking with women who suddenly find themselves having to make serious decisions within a whirlwind of complex choices. Helping them understand their options, providing them with good resources, and simply lending an ear based on my personal experience is incredibly rewarding.

I have since learned that my father’s mother died of breast cancer at age 45 in 1939. I never knew Grandma Rose, but I had been told that she died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Women’s health issues were never discussed back then. They were considered shameful and were kept hush-hush. Organizations such as FORCE did not exist, and resources were scarce. I am so grateful that times have changed, that we all have FORCE at our disposal, and that together we are helping better the lives of those like me at risk.

Posted in: Volunteer Spotlight
Tags: FORCE , Volunteer

No Comments

Leave a Reply