What would you do if you knew you had a nearly 90-percent chance of getting Breast Cancer? That's a reality for anyone who tests positive for the gene mutation know as BRCA. A few month's ago Serese Cole introduced us to a young Omaha mother who found out she had the gene. Today, she shares her journey of courage, action and determination to beat this disease.
Brandi Preston is 22-years old, completely healthy and about to have major surgery. She's being prepped for a double mastectomy.
"I have an 87-percent chance of having to have this surgery at some point in my life. With those odds I decided I'd rather do it preventively than do it later - with a side of chemotherapy," said Preston.
Brandi tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation just like her mother, grandmother , great and great, great grandmother. Her mom died from breast cancer when she was 40. Brandi is now honoring her final plea.
"I hope that you guys will be able to be proactive rather than reactive and you'll be able to make the decisions that I wasn't able to make," explained Brandi.
"This is an insurance policy for you having a future that doesn't involve breast cancer." That's the message Brandi's surgeon, Dr. Janet Grange, had for her just moments before her procedure.
"I have taken care of Brandi since she found out about the mutation . She was 19. In no way as a 19-year-old was she ready for this. My observation is that women like to get their relationships in order, maybe have a baby," said Grange.
Brandi has done both and is ready. Less than an hour away from surgery - she thinks of her son Peyton.
"I don't every want to prepare Peyton to live life the way my mom had to prepare me," said Preston.
On the way to the operating room - she gives two thumbs up and a smile.
Serese Cole, 'Nearly two weeks later, Brandi's recovering at home. And even though she can't lift her son right now - she's at peace. Because she knows in the long run - she'll be around when he needs her."
"It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders," said Preston.
And while she's still healing, Brandi's optimistic that the disease that stole her mother won't take away precious moments with her son.
Brandi's surgery was five hours long. While there are no guarantees, it reduces her chance of getting breast cancer by 90-percent. So to her - it was worth it. In case you're wondering - because of her gene mutation, the procedure was covered by insurance.