On October 1 2001, Check Your Genes co-founder Nancy West Romer was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. Her mother, the late Judge Judy West, died of breast cancer in 1991, at the age of 49 and Judy's sister battled breast cancer in her 20's and died of colon cancer at age 50. Nancy knew this family history of cancer, yet no doctor or medical professional told her that a simple blood test could determine if she carried the mutation that significantly increased her own risk of breast or ovarian cancer. If she knew about the test, and the hereditary link, Nancy could have been tested before her diagnosis and pursued medical options to prevent or eliminate her risk of developing cancer.
Nancy's medical journey began immediately after her diagnosis. In the span of eight years she endured:
This medical treatment could have all been avoided had Nancy known she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation. It was for this reason she and her brother Jim founded Check Your Genes in 2007 - to let others know how important it is to know their family history and use that knowledge to reduce or eliminate their own risk. Nancy put her heart and soul into Check Your Genes for two years. A wife and mother of two young children, she passed away on December 7, 2009 at the young age of 40.
Her mission to educate others lives on through Check Your Genes.