May 17 2013

Angelina’s Decision Shows the Power of Taking Charge

This past Tuesday, Angelina Jolie allowed us all in on one of the most difficult conversations you can imagine. Faced with her own mortality, she made a decision to take action to ensure she would be around and a part of her children’s lives for a long time. Her decision to let us all in on this intensely personal conversation should be applauded, but more importantly it should serve as inspiration for the rest of us to engage in similar conversations with our own families.

Angelina’s mother died from breast cancer at 56, never having met most of her grandchildren. Angelina had the tough conversations about cancer with her family, but could never assure them that she wouldn’t die like her mother did.

In the New York Times, Angelina opened up about those difficult conversations and wrote about her tough decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. She is a carrier of the “faulty” gene, BRCA1, which in her case means she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.  Through her preventative surgery, Angelina reduced her risk of breast cancer from 87% to 5%, and can now tell her children that she won’t meet the same fate as their grandmother.

Angelina’s courage to simply start one of the most difficult conversations she’s ever had encourages us all to start the difficult conversation about how we want to live our whole lives and to use those conversations to plan for the future.

Finding the courage now to start the difficult conversations can save your loved ones from future pain and heartache.

We know that these dialogues can be tough, which is why we’ve created guides to help you through them. Start early and write your conclusions down. Remember this is about deciding how you want to live your whole life.


Angelina Jolie BRCA1 Breast Cancer Conversation New York Times

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