“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what sunflowers do.”
Emma had a double mastectomy on 13th February 2018. She was just 22 years old then. She is a Body-combat instructor and a teacher in the making.
“I was not diagnosed with cancer, but with an hereditary genetic mutation called BRCA2 (Breast Cancer gene). Everybody has BRCA Genes (1 and 2) , they work as tumor suppressors. If one of these two Genes are mutated, your body is much less protected against the development of cancerous cells especially when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer.
I got this gene from my mother, who got it from my grandmother. I am the 3rd registered generation carrying this mutation. My chances of getting breast cancer were up to 87%, considering the mutation and my family history. I chose to go for a double mastectomy (breast amputation) and reconstruction at 22. Around my 30s, my ovaries will also be surgically removed.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“My grandmother. She raised me until she passed away when I was 8 years old. She survived breast cancer but developed another cancer after some years, in the uterus and ovaries. I miss her everyday , so I wanted to honor her.
I also take this diagnosis as a chance to take my life in control at a young age, to be able to know more about some risks I have. I got the chance to beat breast cancer before it got a chance to beat me.”
“I had complications after my mastectomy, so I had 2 surgeries on the same day instead of one. I had heavy internal bleeding, lost 2 liters of blood that day. That felt very tough. I also am struggling with the lack of sensation in both breasts. I do not feel anything anymore and that can be emotionally very challenging at times.”
Message to other cancer patients
“To all cancer patients / genetic mutants, life is a gift to keep fighting for. You got this, we got this!”