The Kamie K Preston Hereditary Cancer Foundation was founded in honor of Kamie Preston, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 40. Kamie is remembered as a fighter, a mother and a friend. For those who knew her, she was never a victim of breast cancer. Her cancer was first detected in 2000, when she was 35 years old. For the next five years, she spent time in and out of the hospital with relapses and tests.
As the cancer progressed, Kamie began to prepare her children for a life without her. She left behind valuable genetic information for her three children as Kamie tested positive for BRCA1. It was in those hospital rooms Brandi learned about the genetic mutation her mother carried, a mutation she and her siblings had a 50/50 chance of also having. In addition to a mother’s typical expectations for going to college and looking out for each other, Kamie asked each of her children to learn their risk, in order to be proactive with their health rather than reactive. Several years later, medical professionals used Kamie’s results as a starting point to test her children for the same mutation.
As her legacy lived on, so did the need to raise awareness about the significance of hereditary cancer. The foundation was created by her oldest daughter, Brandi, in her memory, to educate and raise awareness of hereditary cancers to those most at risk. We believe that when people know their risks of developing cancer, they can take the necessary steps to fight the odds.
Since then, Brandi has fulfilled the promise she made at her mother’s bedside. At age 19, she completed genetic testing and learned that she too carries the BRCA1 mutation, giving her an 87% lifetime risk of breast cancer and 63% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer.
“BRCA has been a gift, although not wrapped very beautifully; it has given me the ability to take control of my health and encourage others to do the same,” Brandi has said since her prophylactic mastectomy at age 22. She no longer fears suffering from or losing her life to breast cancer, like so many women in her family have.
Sarah joined The Kamie K Preston Hereditary Cancer Foundation Staff in July 2022 as our new Executive Director.
Sarah met Brandi at the end of 2018, just a few days after she found out her sister had been diagnosed with BRCA2+. Brandi answered so many questions that she had and made her feel more comfortable with her decision to go ahead and get tested. Ultimately, Sarah was diagnosed with BRCA2+ in March 2019. Through testing, she found out that her family's BRCA 2 diagnosis came from her dad's side of the family, where they also found out she had another cousin who was positive. In July 2019 Sarah underwent preventative surgery and was able to use the lift chair the Foundation had. She was so grateful for the opportunity to use the lift chair and when there was a need for someone to organize the multiple chairs the Foundation had, She took on the project! Sarah and 2 other ladies involved with the Foundation founded what we now call Chairs to Recovery. Check out www.chairstorecovery.com to find out more about this program.
Sarah's personal history of inheriting the BRCA2 mutation, drives her passion for The Hereditary Cancer Foundation and Chairs to Recovery. She looks forward to growing and expanding the foundation's main focus of supporting, educating and developing relationships with those with a hereditary cancer diagnosis. Sarah looks forward to finding new and exciting ways to implement that mission!
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