Before I was told I carry the BRCA1 mutation, I didn’t have a clue what it was. Therefore I feel that with my story I should raise as much awareness as possible, to make more people aware. Making people aware could save generations to come.
The criteria you must meet to be eligible for BRCA testing is quite strict, and unfortunately women are paying privately for the test, after being refused on the NHS and testing positive.
Many women diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancer test positive for the gene. Maybe if awareness was greater and more women were tested, these cancers could have been prevented??
The bottom line is, if more people knew about BRCA, less people would receive the horrendous diagnosis they have breast/ovarian cancer as they would be offered to steps to prevent this happening.
Through my blog being shared on social media and people stumbling across it, ladies have taken themselves to be tested, and gone on to have preventative surgery. If my little blog can do this, imagine the results if a big charity got behind this idea, the amount of lives saved would be phenomenal, knowledge is power!
In May I was honoured to be asked to be the guest speaker at the Breast cancer now annual ball held at Manchester cathedral. My immediate reaction was I couldnt do it, I’ve never spoken in public in my life, I was the girl who pretended to be ill when there was a presentation at school! But I HAD to do it, what a great opportunity, and I’m SO glad I did.
The evening was amazing, we had a three course meal, an auction, some fantastic performances including one from Lemar and of course my speech! I spoke about my personal journey and how cancer has impacted my life. I emphasised the importance of research into breast cancer, after all if the BRCA gene wasn’t identified years ago, it would be very likely I would get breast cancer. An amazing £125,000 was raised that night, and I am so proud to of been a part of it.
I took with me my boyfriend who has been my absolute rock throughout this whole journey, I also invited my BRCA friend Carla who had her surgery 2 weeks after me, she writes an amazing blog on Facebook and does a fantastic job at raising awareness.
Guest at the ball Janey Butley writes about the evening here, journal
- Below are some links to things I have done to raise awareness. Many of us in the BRCA community work really hard at raising awareness and reaching out to “newbies” and trying to make them feel comfortable.
Ovarian cancer action is a great charity and I love the work they do, specifically the brca hub