Empowerment

Amidst the chaos of finishing up all my papers and projects and prepping for finals week, I have a buzz of excitement.  And no, the excitement is not about taking my Advanced Pharmacology cumulative final (groan). It is about the FORCE conference I will be attending in Philadelphia June 12-14. FORCE stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered and is a support group and amazing resource for hereditary ovarian and breast cancer issues. They have in-person meetings, online resources, and forums.

I found out about the conference after having lunch with two young women who I met through the online forum. Both women are BRCA positive – one already had a prophylactic mastectomy and the other was considering it. I was amazed at how open both women were and the instant connection I felt with them through our shared genetic mutation and all the stuff that comes along with it. I’ve since emailed people on the forum from all over the country about surgery questions and everyone has responded with wonderful advice.

Once I found out about the FORCE annual conference, I was lucky enough to obtain a partial scholarship through FORCE and my wonderful mom donated airfare to me. I am so jazzed for this conference. I can’t wait to meet others with the BRCA gene, ask a million questions about mastectomy prep and recovery, and go to tons of awesome sessions. I plan to post and tweet often from the conference. Follow me on twitter here.

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