Duty to Warn

More healthcare professionals need to be aware of the importance of communicating a genetic risk for cancer to all who may be at risk.

There are many hereditary cancers that are preventable or can be detected and successfully treated at early stages, but that comes only with communicating that information. It is hard for someone to be proactive if they are not aware of the threat.

Leaving communicating about any mutations and cancer risks just to family members often DOES NOT work out well. (Tragically, that's why I'm a widower.)

"Effective family communication about genetic information is complex and occurs at lower than optimal rates." *
(Read more about that quote and the study it came from at the link below.)


**Link to the Journal of Law and the Biosciences:

#dutytowarn #hereditarycancer #BRCA2 #genetictesting #HIPPA #cancerprevention #germlinemutations #geneticcounseling


A Quick Study of a Gila Woodpecker

A quick study of a Gila woodpecker in my desert yard.

Once upon a time, I was not a hereditary cancer advocate, I was a nature advocate, NPS volunteer artist, and an admirer of the magic and wonder of the natural world. My mantra was “Know nature. Learn to be still."

I was planning to retire from freelance illustrating -- and editors and art directors and agents and other gatekeepers-- and go on many nature adventures with my now late wife and just sketch nature for the sake of it. To just go out and paint “happy little trees” someplace in the wild.

My late wife’s hereditary cancer diagnosis changed everything. That's why I'm a hereditary cancer awareness and prevention advocate now.

I can still sketch nature, but something is missing.


Why Talking About Hereditary Cancer is so Hard

The reality of being a hereditary cancer awareness and prevention advocate cartoon
Being a hereditary cancer awareness and prevention advocate sure presents challenges.

#cancerchangedeverything #BRCA2 #TNBC #hereditarycancer


Flowering Lifesaver

Cancer is awful. Everything about it.

I cannot pretend to know the awfulness of being treated for cancer. But I do know the awfulness of being a cancer caregiver. Of the almost unbearable
trauma of watching a loved one die of the awful disease. And of having an adult child that’s a previvor and having the shadow of cancer follow you everywhere.

That’s why I have chosen to share my talent and create coloring pages for the readers at Cure Today. It’s just a small gesture to maybe help give a momentary reprieve from the awfulness of cancer with the hope that it will heal.

Please share the link with anyone you know who has cancer and might need a creative break.


#cancercommunity #cancersucks #cancerpatient #cancersupport #hereditarycancer #artforcancer #TNBC #previvor #hereditarycancer #1FORCECommunity


Hereditary Cancer Changed Everything

Almost two years ago my wife, soul mate, adventure companion, co-creator and muse died of hereditary cancer. It was preventable. Tragically, crucial genetic information was not shared by family members. That’s why I’m now a hereditary cancer awareness and prevention advocate and speaking up.
This week I became a volunteer at FORCE: Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered.


Stepping Up Again on my Hereditary Cancer Soapbox

On February 6th, a hereditary cancer screening bill was introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives. HB 2783 attempts to address the need for better screening for hereditary cancers.

Here's a link to my article at Cure Today about getting the bill introduced.


Old Art, New Book

Always nice to see artwork I created years ago still being used.

Originally inspired by my late wife's need for images for her classroom and parent newsletters and handouts, my portfolio of education clip art images grew and evolved over several years. Eventually the collection and hundreds of additional pieces* were featured as royalty-free images the Discovery (Channel) Education Clip Art Gallery for nearly twenty years.

Some of the artwork is now being used in the book, “50 Ways to Cultivate Lifelong Readers in Your K-4 Classroom.” The book was written for teachers by Paige Zamarripa, an elementary school teacher who has spent years teaching young readers to love reading for pleasure. Included in this book you will also find ideas for both new and master teachers that will enhance your reading and writing workshops.

It’s new and available now at Amazon.



 (*By the way, you can still find many of those same images at EducatorClips.com)


Love. Brains. Courage.

Family cancer history pedigree chart

It's an odd name for a website about preventing cancer, but love, brains, and courage is what is needed when there’s a family history cancer.

If there's a family history of cancer someone has to care enough to become educated enough about any hereditary cancer risks and then have the courage to speak up and share that knowledge with the family. Sounds simple, but it’s not. In fact, talking about cancer, and specifically about a history of cancer in the family, can be so difficult for some people.

Talking openly about health history with your family is important. Documenting that information, especially if there is a family history of cancer, can be life-saving.

As part of my hereditary cancer awareness and prevention advocacy, I have created a site where a you can download a free Family Health/Cancer History Pedigree I created it so you can get the conversation started with your family.

Discussing cancer, while not always easy, will not kill you or your relatives. However, to be bluntly honest, ignoring a cancer risk to you or a loved one can.

Click here to go LoveBrainsCourage.com

 (By the way, there is no advertising on the site. Just the pedigree and many links to websites with information about talking to your family about cancer.)