Michelle’s Story

Posted in Personal Stories 10 Oct 2016

Michelle Hesse

My name is Michelle and this is my story.

About three years ago I found out that I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation. I never imagined that this little bit of information would change my world so dramatically.

An Aunt that I had not been in contact with for about 10 years rang me out of the blue and advised me that one of my young cousins (26 at the time) had breast cancer and that she carried the BRCA1 gene fault. My Aunt also said to me that I needed to be tested to see if I had the same gene fault. I had absolutely no idea the tremendous gift she had just given me.

There was a little bit of me that thought I could just forget she ever rang and never think of it again but after doing some research into the BRCA gene faults I realised the importance of investigating further, not only for myself but for my family. So I decided to undertake genetic testing.

After the long six week wait I was told that I carried the BRCA1 gene fault and I inherited it from my father’s side, information I was not ready to hear or ready to deal with. So life decided to throw me a curve ball! I never imagined at age 38 I would be discussing ovarian and breast cancer.

After researching what BRCA1 gene fault was and how it would affect me and my family I chose to have a full hysterectomy in September 2014.

Education and being informed is the key. Having the knowledge I now have equips me to be able to make sure I have regular mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI’s.

I feel extremely lucky to have been given this gift of information from my Aunt so I could take control and ensure, to the best of my ability, my health!

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