Twenty years later, in June 2006, six weeks after giving birth to my second child, I was also diagnosed with breast cancer. At this time my two sisters and I made the discovery that we carry the BRCA 1 gene mutation. This means that we have an 85% chance of getting breast cancer and are at high risk for ovarian cancer. Due to these statistics, we each made the difficult decision to opt for elective surgery. Additionally, I endured chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Now, two years on, we are so grateful to be healthy and to be here for our children and families. In addition, we feel the need to share our story in order to pass on the important information we have learned and share our hopes and optimism for the future.
Although we live around the world, this summer my sisters and I are joining forces to take on the challenge of walking the West Highland Way in Scotland. We are training hard in order to walk 95 miles over six days in memory of our Mother, Lorna Klineberg, and to raise awareness about the BRCA gene. We hope to raise a substantial amount of money for a breast cancer research study being conducted by Dr. Stott and his team in Glasgow University, Scotland. The results of which will be shared worldwide in the fight against breast cancer.
We are leaving Glasgow on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 and arriving in Fort William, at the foot of Ben Nevis on Sunday August, 31, 2008. Please visit our website: www.justgiving.com/astepahead for our full story and details on how to make an on-line donation. The website will accept international donations.
I am so excited about the fast-approaching challenge and will report back after I have (hopefully) successfully completed The West Highland Way. Additionally, I will be adding more information about the Cancer Charities the other artists on this amazing project are contributing to.