My name is Brodie, I’m 25 years old and have a strong family history of BRCA1 gene mutation and breast and ovarian cancer, which my mother had at the age of 29. To learn more about my risk, I opted for genetic testing at 18 years old to understand what my future could look like. I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation and decided to have a prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction at 22.
This situation is not ideal at any age but knowing my risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer so early on in my life equipped me with the power to change my future. With this information, I could advocate for myself and change the outcome.
It allowed me to make an informed decision and undergo the surgery that could save my life and drastically reduce my risk of developing breast cancer. Receiving this news meant that I didn’t have to be afraid. I knew what the problem was and how it could be fixed. It showed me that I didn’t have to be worried about what was to come or feel alone in this because I was well informed and had incredible support around me. I was able to get all the facts to make the best decision for me. If my family never received genetic testing, I would never know that I am high risk, and my future could have looked very different.
This time in my life allowed me to learn my biggest life lesson— my resilience. Many aspects of my journey didn’t go to plan, but I always managed to find a way through. I am fortunate and grateful for the things I’ve learned on this journey. I’ve used this knowledge to advocate for my health and make hard choices that would positively impact my life for years to come.
Through everything, I also realised the importance of having a strong support network around me and not being afraid to lean on them when I needed help. Pink Hope came in at the perfect time.
My mother found Pink Hope while I was undergoing genetic testing and in the early days of understanding what having the gene mutation meant. When mum went through breast cancer so early in life, she felt unsupported and never had a network like this—she didn’t want that for me and suggested I reach out to Pink Hope myself.
The incredible women in this community have helped me in so many ways. Through them, I feel supported and understood by those who get it. I’m able to connect with other individuals going through similar situations and can ask questions about anything. Having this community to turn to meant that I didn’t feel alone and that I could give back and provide support for other young women like me.
Through the beginning of my experience, Pink Hope’s information days were invaluable, and I always walked away feeling empowered and ready to take control of my health. I still have their ongoing support and continue to meet wonderful people through their events.
For me, Pink Hope and all of the incredible people I’ve met along the way embody what it means to “Illuminate.” It’s about having the right support network to help guide you through the tough times and keep you on the path to making informed health choices. It’s about reaching out to those around you, providing support for them, and forming lifelong friendships.
My words of advice? Knowing your risk allows you to make better decisions regarding your health. It’s your choice to do what you want with that information, and you must do what feels right for you. Embracing that there will be good and bad days, you need to know it’s okay not to have the answers straight away—as long as you take baby steps and make progress.