Our names are Melanie and Karni, we are sisters, and this is our story.
Hysterectomy. Mastectomy. Mammogram. Tamoxifen. These words were never in our everyday vocabulary until we were diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation in September 2015.
Our beautiful Mum was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the end of 2014 after just turning 50, but it was luckily caught at an early stage. Watching her and many others go through chemotherapy was extremely difficult, and we promised ourselves we would do everything we can to make sure we never end up there too. The day Mum finished her treatment was one of the best days of our lives. She was finally smiling and a hint of her old self shone through.
Due to many women in her family having had breast and ovarian cancer, including her late sister, mum was tested for the BRCA1 mutation. She tested positive. A few months later we were also tested, and on the 4th of September, 2015 we were told that unfortunately we carry the BRCA1 mutation as well. Since then, we have both been gathering as much information as we can about the gene mutation and our options.
We have been adamant that we will be proactive and not let history repeat in our family again. As strange as it may sound, we feel LUCKY that we are aware of our BRCA1 mutation at the young ages of 23 and 25. We have time and options.
Every woman out there should have the same, and we hope that by sharing our story we can help raise awareness for high-risk families.