Momlogic's Jackie's letter to the Samantha Who star, who revealed her secret battle with breast cancer.
Bravo for your candid, thoughtful and brave interview this morning on Good Morning America. What's especially impressive is that--although you weren't ready to share your story and were basically "outed" by the press--you decided to stand up and let people know your story anyway.
Like you, I got the call telling me that they found something suspicious during a doctor-ordered MRI. Like you, I found out I was positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation and had an up-to almost 90% risk of having breast cancer in my lifetime. Like you, I had seen my mother suffer from it. The difference for me is that my mother did not survive--I was three years old. 31-years later, it was my turn to face the music.
Like you, I made the decision to have my breasts removed before they took over. It was the most excruciating, liberating, and terrifying experience I've ever known. Looking into the faces of my little boys and my loving husband were sometimes the only thing that kept me going.
Your ability to reach out to women everywhere who have had similar experiences so soon after surgery is astounding. Mothers, daughter, sisters and friends around the world feel less alone because of your powerful words, "It's ok to cry. It's ok to fall on the ground and scream."
My heart also goes out to your mother. I look at my kids, terrified that they will carry on this legacy--that I am somehow responsible for potential future pain. But I remain hopeful that by the time they are old enough to deal with it, research and science will have already wiped out cancer--once and for all.
Those living with the gene that makes us high risk for breast cancer have needed someone like you to come forward. A celebrity who is young, well-respected, smart and outspoken. While it's not your job to represent the rest of us, your fame is a powerful platform that can be used to evoke change and awareness. Your dedication to making MRI's more affordable to those high risk as well as provide genetic testing is a positive side of a very difficult journey.
And, for that, I--along with millions of others--am grateful. Thanks for joining us in kicking cancer's ass.