Inge Vandormael

Inge Vandormael

Contact Inge: Inge@LivingLFS.org

There was a lot of cancer in my family. Growing up in Belgium, I always thought maybe it was because of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, just 2100 km (1300 miles) away. Fast-forward to April of 2016: now living in New York City, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While discussing a treatment plan with my doctor, I learned that some of my family members in Belgium had tested positive for LFS. In July of 2016, I was diagnosed with LFS too. It was overwhelming dealing with both cancer and genetics all at once. I began Googling LFS all the time, because it wasn't something I'd ever heard about. I went on Facebook and found Living LFS and the Li-Fraumeni Syndrome Support group. It was difficult to read everyone's stories, but it was also reassuring to find people who understand,  to be able to get and to give support, share a laugh, a cry, and some inappropriate humor.

Drawing is my creative outlet. As I learned about LFS, I drew the p53 tumor suppressor gene, for myself and for my new mutant family, but also for my friends - to give them some idea of what I was experiencing, to engage them to ask questions, and maybe subconsciously to educate them about hereditary cancer. Since then I've been happy to contribute artwork for apparel for Living LFS fundraisers and coloring book drawings when Living LFS was an exhibitor at the 2018 LFS Symposium.  In 2020, Living LFS asked me to join the Board of Directors. I'm happy to give back, and to be an active contributing member of an organization that is very important to me.