Contact Andi: Andi@LivingLFS.org
When my Dad was 13, his 11 year old brother, his mother and his dog all died of cancer in little more than a year. (Dad tells this story with a rueful chuckle that implies, "can you even believe this?") By the time I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 at age 41, Dad had been through multiple cancers himself. It never occurred to me that it could be genetic. I just thought our family had bad, cancery luck. Then Dad and I were diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. (We're pretty sure Dad's dog was a coincidence.)
The mind is a funny thing. The full meaning of my LFS diagnosis didn't really sink in for me until well after my lumpectomy and chemotherapy. Once I realized that "mutants" with cancer aren't the same as "normals" with cancer, I wanted to make sure everyone else knew. I became more active in the private LFS Facebook support group. I started educating my medical team about LFS, talking to friends about it, and making videos about it. I want it to be common knowledge that a family history of cancer may not just be bad luck, that knowing our mutant status early can save lives, and that we can help others with our unique personal experiences. We are Living LFS.
Doctors, friends, coworkers and strangers often say to LFS mutants, "I don't know how you deal with all this!" Apparently, LFS mutant superpowers are super-human strength of character, and super-human supportiveness. I am grateful to be on the receiving end of that support from my mutant family, and grateful for the chance to offer it in some small way in return.