"I stumbled upon FORCE after testing positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation two years ago. As a professor, I was drawn to the organization's extensive but clear information about genetic testing and cancer risk. As a patient, I was drawn to their focus on helping individuals cope with hereditary cancer at all stages of the cancer journey (i.e., as a newly diagnosed cancer patient, as a family member supporting a patient, or as a previvor seeking to make preventative health decisions). Within two weeks of finding this amazing resource, I began volunteering. I volunteer because I want to give back to the community that has helped me. Since learning my BRCA status, I have been consistently overwhelmed by the FORCE community's generosity to helping others and their commitment to advancing research and patient advocacy. I hope to continue this tradition in my own work now as a Peer Support Group Leader and Steering Committee Member for the ABOUT Network."
Dr. Marleah Dean Kruzel is an Assistant Professor in Health Communication at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. She studies patient-provider health communication and is currently examining genetics and risk communication in the context of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. A BRCA2 previvor herself, Marleah is committed to translating her research into practice, which is why she volunteers at FORCE and maintains a blog called "The Patient and The Professor." For more information, visit her website.