Tamara Weinmann

By on April 10, 2011 | Category: Previvor Stories | 10 Comments
Tamara Weinmann

My name is Tamara Weinmann and I currently live in New Jersey.  I am 33 years old, married and a mother of a 6 year old boy and 2 girls, ages 4 and 1.  I recently underwent my prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction (March 21st, 2011) and am still fresh on my journey to full reconstruction.  I am BRCA negative, but have a strong family history and have had many of my own breast ‘issues’ over the years!  I wrote this letter to my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon just last week.  It contains all my feelings and emotions and best describes where I am currently at.  If anyone would like to speak with me, I am open to sharing!  There have been so many wonderful, supportive and honest women that I have met and spoken with during this journey.  Please see my letter below. Read more …

Jodi Kreizer

By on March 1, 2011 | Category: Previvor Stories | 5 Comments
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. Read more …

Teri Smieja

By on February 21, 2011 | Category: Previvor Stories | 1 Comment
Teri Smieja

It may seem weird for a woman who has never had breast or ovarian cancer to think about it as much as I do. In fact, I thought about it so much I chose to have a prophylactic (refers to the removal of healthy tissue & fat) hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo oopherectomy (BSO) in October 2009, just a few days before my 39th birthday. I also had both of my breasts removed during a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in February 2010.

While I don’t have breast or ovarian cancer, I do have a genetic mutation of my BRCA1 gene which makes my risk of getting breast cancer up to 87% and makes my ovarian cancer risk up to 44% over my lifetime. The average woman has an 8% chance. While science has come a long way, at this point in time, the best option for a woman with this mutation to avoid getting breast or ovarian cancer is to have her breasts and ovaries removed before the cancer strikes. In other words, the best way to fight cancer for us, to not get it in the first place, by removing our healthy breasts and ovaries. Read more …

Tee Rouse

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | 1 Comment
Tee Rouse

I read your story in Home Journal and have now been keeping updated through your blog. WOW is all I can say to you. You are a very brave young person, to go through what you are going through is great. I do believe you will be/and are an inspiration to many, many young women. I have my own fun story- I too have been updating through a blog that my husband set up for to share my story with friends and family. I wouldn’t mind if you ever wanted to check it out or share with friends/family it is Teesblog.com. Read more …

Shelly Walker

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | 1 Comment
Shelly Walker

Last night on NBC, I watched you tell about your upcoming surgery. I had the same surgery in February of “1985″ and reconstruction in May of 1985. I don’t regret it a bit!  I had lost 2 aunts to breast cancer, but back then, there was no testing to tell us if we carried the gene. Read more …

Candace Lamour

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | 2 Comments
Candace Lamour

Hi, my name is Candace Lamour and I am from New Jersey. I am now 39.  I was diagnosed in Aug 2007 with BC at 37 while breast-feeding my second child.  I found a lump.  I knew right away that I had BC. Read more …

Lita Goldstein-Poehlman

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | 2 Comments
Lita Goldstein-Poehlman

On the night of December 17, 2007, my life was forever changed. My husband Ron & I were on an airliner on the way to Israel with my rabbi & a group of about 28 others.  It was my very first time traveling overseas. One week prior to leaving I had broken my left big toe in 4 places & was in a boot, on pain medication that barely took the edge off & found it impossible to get comfortable or sleep. Read more …

Lisa Edwards

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | No Comments
Lisa Edwards

“Why I Surgically Removed My Breasts to Avoid My Legacy” – I am currently a 31 year old woman with two beautiful daughters and very happy to be living my life.  My vision of my world wasn’t always so rosy.  I grew up with a dark cloud hanging over my head.  The big “C” word took the life of my grandmother and threatened the lives of my two aunts and my mother.  If it happened to them, what was to stop cancer from striking me as well?  I was born with a predisposition to this disease and the thought of dying plagued me constantly.   When I realized that there were ways to defy my destiny…I did just that.  No one and no disease was going to stop me. Read more …

Tiffany Reiss Seely

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | No Comments
Tiffany Reiss Seely

“Running Scared” – I choose this title because it was the actual act of running that led me to the right people. I was 14 when I was told that my mom was sick. I was at sleep away camp and was told mom was in the hospital having a minor surgery. My dad didn’t want me to worry. The truth was she was undergoing a complete hysterectomy. At the age of 38, my mother, Shevi Reiss, was diagnosed with stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. No signs, no symptoms, not a single person in the family prior to her was sick. Read more …

Nikki McDaniel

By on December 22, 2010 | Category: Previvor Stories | No Comments
Nikki McDaniel

“I Am No Longer Afraid”  – The following is from a speech I made in honor of my family.

What I am here to offer you today is five generations that have been affected with cancer. We do not know exactly where the BRCA2 gene originated but I will share with you what I do know. Read more …

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