Raise awareness, save lives

Coworker: Welcome back! How was your trip? Where did you go?

Me: Actually the nonprofit I’m involved in was an exhibitor at a cancer conference in Toronto!

Coworker: Oh, what kind of cancer?

Me: (Give her the short version about LFS and my family history)

Coworker: Oh that sounds just like my family, we have all kinds of cancer on both sides!

Me: GO GET GENETIC TESTING NOW WHILE YOU’RE 27 AND DON’T HAVE KIDS YET! (Proceed to tell her the benefits of screening protocols)

Coworker: That makes so much sense! I never thought it was something they could test for, I thought it was just the way our family was built! I will call! Thank you so much!

This isn’t the entire conversation, but you get the jist.

I thought similarly about my own family — I thought we just had bad luck. That cancer could be hereditary, and that there might be something I could have done about it in advance, never occurred to me.

Nobody wants to find out they have Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. But in hindsight, given the choice between knowing my mutant status as early as possible or not finding out until after I got cancer — I wish I’d known sooner.

I hope my coworker has genetic testing done.

I’m a Li-Fraumeni Syndrome genetic mutant, which means I’m susceptible to developing many different types of cancers. I dig photography and (mostly old) music.

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