I have been a volunteer for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute's One-to-One support program for over 13 years. I was asked to counsel patients who carry the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic mutations just after my own prophylactic surgery in 2000. I found FORCE online soon after that and have been a FORCE Helpline Volunteer since 2010.
My family has been impacted by the BRCA genetic mutation, just as many have. My mother passed away from breast cancer at the age of 37 in 1978. My three sisters were diagnosed with the BRCA 1 genetic mutation in 2000, and we have all successfully had bilateral prophylactic mastectomies as well as prophylactic hysterectomies and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomies (BSO).
I volunteer for FORCE to give back. I feel as though my sisters and their families have dodged a deadly bullet that my mother could not avoid at the time. As a helpline volunteer I have spoken to women and men from all over the country, many repeatedly. I have been enriched by my FORCE volunteer experience and hope to continue until the need is not there anymore!