One family shares their story

When Brittany heard the news that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2018, she promised to be a source of strength during her mother’s double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation treatment plan. A few months later, when genetic testing revealed that Brittany, her mother, and her sister Christy all tested positive for the BRCAII gene mutation, Brittany’s family began three different treatment journeys from the same diagnosis.

Breast cancer mortality decreased 40% in the United States between the years 1998 and 2016. At Komen Colorado, we know that stats like this are cause for both celebration AND a closer look. We can celebrate saved lives because of the spread of awareness, early detection, and effective breast cancer treatments. We can celebrate that Susan G. Komen has funded over $1 billion in research since 1982 making Komen the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside the U.S. government. And we are wise to use these facts to re-double our efforts because we know that the good news above does not change the fact that breast cancer still remains relevant. In the U.S. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

The experience of women who receive a diagnosis is, perhaps, more diverse than ever. And we know that sharing your stories is the most powerful way to uphold all four of our mission pillars: community, research, action, and care.

Brittany’s pathology results showed early stage cancer and she chose a double mastectomy for treatment; while Christy chose ongoing screening as her treatment plan.  Both sisters anticipate RRSO in the future. As Brittany shares, “None of our paths are right or wrong, but they all make sense to each of us and we support each other and respect each other’s decisions. I hope sharing our stories and perspectives shows what it means to have cancer, the BRCAII mutation, and how preventative surgeries can be a part of treatment.”

At Komen Colorado we value Brittany’s story that illustrates how the disease of breast cancer has changed, further, her story highlights the most important question we can ask. Brittany, Christy, and their mother, Betsy are the WHY that fuels us toward our bold goal of decreasing breast cancer deaths by 50% in the year 2026.