Kristina Coccoluto, walking in honor of her mom, Kim Bramante, a survivor since 1996 and Aunt, Nancy Fullerton, a survivor since 1996, and in memory of her aunt, Kathy Audette (2005).
Our story is multi-layered. My mom was diagnosed 20 years ago. Both of her sisters were also diagnosed and we ultimately lost my aunt Katie. However, I tested for the BRCA1 genetic mutiation. I just completed a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction this past February.
Being BRCA positive has had many challenges, but this year I had to take action after finding a lump in my breast. I thankfully did not have cancer, but I remember the fear I felt for my mom’s health when she was diagnosed 20 years ago. No child should ever fear for their parents’ health. It became my mission to make sure my daughter never had to fear for mine.
This is our first year walking and it’s a surreal celebration. I feel blessed to be walking the same year I conquered my fears and underwent a preventative mastectomy. We honor my mother and aunt as survivors. We reflect on the memory of my aunt Katie. And we celebrate a fresh generation of women able to take action against the genetic war our family has fought for too long. Like so many other families, we celebrate strength, empowerment and hope. It’s a sorority we never agreed to pledge to, but a sisterhood we are proud to share.