The Wizard of Oz said, "Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable."
I will be taking a long break from the drawing board and sketchbook because my heart has been ripped from my chest and crushed and creativity drained from my soul. In June, the love of my life and mother of my child lost her courageous fight against hereditary breast cancer and passed away peacefully (traumatically for me) in my arms.
My beautiful wife was a sweet and generous soul. A loving wife and nurturing mother. A world-class educator. All stolen away by an evil disease.
Her nearly 4-year cancer struggle was a nightmare journey through some of the darkest regions of hell for her, me (her primary caregiver), and our adult daughter. Heartbreakingly, it was preventable. Genetic testing and prophylactic surgery would have reduced her risk by 95%. Unfortunately, despite a devastating family history of cancer, the need for urgent genetic testing was never made clear to her by relatives acutely aware of a germline BRCA2 mutation for many years.
Because family members too often fail at effectively communicating the seriousness of the risk and the urgency of getting tested to other family members, there is dire need for more education about and better screening for hereditary cancer risks. To learn more about hereditary cancer and how you can help improve the lives of families and individuals facing hereditary cancer go to: FacingOurRisk.org.
Take time to care. A little effort and love can make a big difference. Not just in one life, but in all the lives connected to that life. -- mark