My mother taught me what cancer was when I was three years old. I had my third birthday with her in her hospital bed while she recovered from breast cancer. Unfortunately she died quite horribly from aggressive lung, brain and liver tumours when I was 13 so cancer was something I knew I had to be wary of.
I had my first mammogram at 20, under the confused stares of doctors, and when the images which showed perfect little marble cysts I knew that those breasts did not belong on my body. My breasts were never really part of me. After seeing Krystal talk about her BRCA diagnosis on 60 Minutes I realised I might have a fighting chance – maybe this was the thing that would save my life and ensure that I would not become a statistic. Without any living female family members (with the same risk factors as me) alive to compare results to, I had my genetic testing done as a complete stab in the dark. As luck would have it, funnily enough, I happened to carry a BRCA1 gene mutation and now a little bit of luck in my favour.
A message from Alix
It’s so important for me to share what I learn because there might be another young woman out there, who is looking for a chance to live without the fear of getting cancer. She might be scared and alone, just like I was, so if she can see that someone like me can do it, she might be able save herself from the thing she fears most in the world and go on to live a happy normal life!
Ever since my mastectomy with reconstruction at 25, I make sure I talk to other people about what I experienced.