Jodi Kreizer

My name is Jodi Kreizer, I’m from New York City and I am currently 28 years old. Two years ago I learned that I am a carrier for BRCA1.

My grandmother, Irma Schnier, died of breast cancer in 1985.  I was only 2 at the time of her passing and knew her only from pictures and stories.  To me, for most of my life, that’s what cancer was – pictures and stories.  However, what I recently found out would truly change my perspective – and my life – forever.

Because of my grandmother’s breast cancer, my older sister Alyson encouraged my father to take the genetic test after looking further into our family history.  It turns out that my great grandfather was one of 13 children and sadly all seven of his sisters died from breast and/or ovarian cancer.   My father had inherited the BRCA1 mutation from his mother and soon we would find out that he had passed it on to us.

Jodi Kreizer
On October 31st, 2008, shortly after we learned of my father’s results, my sister and I went together for our genetic testing. Three long weeks later, Alyson and I both learned that we tested positive for BRCA 1.

After a year of researching and obtaining valuable medical opinions, I made the decision to reduce my breast cancer risk by 98% by having a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy.  I can honestly say that making a strong, yet extremely difficult decision about my health was the best choice I’ve ever made.  I recently finished my breast reconstruction in April and every time I look at myself in the mirror I feel a complete sense of relief.  I sometimes can’t even believe that I had the strength and courage to go through with it.  I’m not going to say that the past months or years have been easy, because it hasn’t, but I keep reminding myself that I did everything in my power to prevent myself from ever being diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

Throughout my journey I have found a wonderful support group for young women in there 20’s and 30’s called Bright Pink.  Their mission is to empower young women with education and support; and in this effort, they have created an amazing and welcoming sense of community.  These girls have been my life support and friends throughout my journey.  They have shared their own personal stories with me, and have thereby provided me with a deeper and broader perspective on life.  Their stories and their support have truly made my life better.

It’s now my turn to share my story and help other women going through the same thing.  It’s a club that no women aspires to be a part of, but is nonetheless a sisterhood that will support and stand by you every step of the way.  I have made it my life’s mission to bring education and awareness to young women of all ages.  To share my story and provide comfort to any woman who is facing a similar fate is the most powerful thing that I can do as an individual.

The truth is that having a strong and positive attitude, which took time and support to achieve, has had a tremendous impact on how I’ve dealt with my risk.  Instead of feeling like a victim, or even trying to understand, “why me”, or “how did this happen?”, I’ve decided to be thankful that I’m here today sharing my story with all of you.

5 Responses to “Jodi Kreizer”

  1. March 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    J–not only did the surgery help to save my life–I factor u in as the emotional support I needed to balance the severity of the ordeal with the joy of the outcome–U held my hand/heart in such a knowing, loving way. I could never over-estimate the power of having u hear my words before they came out. Forever Together–Ur Big Sis–Judyxxx

  2. April 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    thank you for sharing – i’m a soon to be 31 year old woman who is BRCA postive – from jersey (close to you) – i’m in tough with Bright Pink and hope to hear from a pink pal soon – i got my results about a month ago and FLOODS of emotions are running rapid – my Mom is currently fighting breast cancer .. my Dr is pushing for my ovaries out at 35 – i came to terms with my breast and OK with the masectomy – but the thought of never being able to have kids – SCARY! ..

    • February 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

      Erika,

      If you are BRCA2–think twice about having your ovaries removed before menopause– LOOK at the STATISTICS. YOUR RISK IS TOO SMALL. TAKE THE PILL for Gods sake don’t let the doctors scare you.

  3. February 15, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Thanks so much for your post Jodi. While I don’t carry the BRCA gene – I did have cancer as a child (soft tissue sarcoma) and lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 8. It was later discovered that I carry the P53 gene which is a genetic gene mutation which puts me at risk for a number of cancers, breast being the highest at 95% b/n the ages of 29-34.
    I am currently 29 and have decided to go ahead with a prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction.
    I’ve also been in touch with Bright Pink – what a great site.
    Reading your story was inspiring and helpful as I begin my journey.
    Thank you :)

  4. February 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Jodi, you’re so beautiful and brave.

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments

Categories