Your Thoughts

We want to hear YOUR opinion!

What did you think about IN THE FAMILY? What did you love? What kept you up all night? What did you talk to your sister about? Your mom? Your best friend? What bothered you?

Give us your feedback (and if you're lucky, we'll respond!)

However after having found

However after having found out that I am a gene carrier, as well as my mother and cousin, this documentary was so powerful in helping me understand my journey ahead and I would like other friends and family members to be able to share in this experience.

Regards

Thank you for your film

Joanna,

I just wanted to thank you for sharing your personal story in your film. I am a certified genetic counselor and have been working in cancer genetics for 3 years. Your film changed how I do my job, my interactions with patients, the support that I give them and an empathy that I did not have before. You showed us what happens when people leave our offices, the internal struggles that they have, and that our recommendations are not black and white. I strongly recommend your film to all my patients, those who choose to have testing and those who do not. For patients that are positive, I also urge them to watch your film. I am now able to take a back seat and let my patients tell me what they need and when they need it. I understand on a new level what is involved in the decision making process, and take much more time in communicating options, and not putting any pressure on decision making. I think I am better at helping patients because of your film. I thank you, and every patient who comes back to me after watching your film often thank you as well. They often feel alone when I give them the information, after viewing your film they understand that they are not alone.

A powerful film and a legacy of love

My wife was diagnosed in June 2006 with stage IIIc ovarian. She is currently undergoing treatment, recently became platinum resistant, and is receiving Topotecan. We saw the film on POV, purchased the DVD, and attended the FORCE conference in Orlando this month.....where we were fortunate to meet Joanna and Cookie and exchange hugs.

I'd like to again thank you, Joanna, for making this incredibly personal and powerful film. It had a direct and positive impact on us.....and was instrumental in my wife's decision to undergo prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. She had her breasts removed this past December and now reconstruction is complete except for some minor cosmetic details.

Genetic testing revealed my wife is BRCA 1 positive and, once we saw Linda Pedraza's story, we knew what had to be done. Fortunately, my wife has worked in the operating room for many years and had experience working side by side with a good plastic surgeon who did her reconstruction. While it wasn't much fun undergoing everything that comes along with recovery from mastectomy and reconstruction....there was a measure of peace of mind and a sense of some control in what usually feels like an out of control situation. Now we can focus entirely on fighting her ovarian and not worry about her developing breast cancer.

My experience over the course of the past 3 years has been to see how women who are survivor's and BRCA positive desperately want to HELP. They want to help others. To understand. To fight. To learn and gain valuable knowledge. This was clear to see at the FORCE conference.

While watching the film, I grieved with the Pedraza family and friends over the course of events which took Linda's life. However, they can take comfort in knowing that by allowing Joanna to chronicle her story....her passing had a purpose and meaning. Linda helped others. She directly helped my wife and, no doubt, countless others and hers is a legacy of love!

Thank you Joanna and thank you Linda.

For the first time in a long

For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm in good hands.

For the first time in a long time I also feel completely terrified.

Last week my life suddenly clicked into perspective like a shot gun finding its barrel - CLICK. My life took form of its destined shape. But quickly in that same image I now see that gun firing at its target, that target though
is wearing a bullet proof vest. That target is me. I am well
protected, I am thinking of prevention before I go to war.

I am startled from my now daily panic - when a lady knocks on my door and asks, if i've changed into the white robe and if i'm ready for her to enter. Childlike I answer "yes" although the woman in me understand my apprehension. The child in me recollects the way my mother must have felt -
and suddenly that "yes" matches with my mothers inner child. you know the sound of my "yes" these day says, "somebody, anybody please take care of me...i'm scared."

Her hands were cold as she felt my breast reminding me to look for change...Lumps...and change. a routine I've heard before but this time its seems to resonate, this time I want to listen. I wish this time I had brought a pen and pad to this meeting. Maybe if I write everything down
there is no way I can get it wrong. Like my first grade math test - if only my destiny was a simple as 4 + 4. Nothing is that simple anymore.

I have the clear as I hop of the table and shyly grab my sweater as if to say i'm cold. My vulnerability has turned to fear. The doctor looks at me and say's. " Mia you are 25, you have a choice now if you want to start
these procedures, but I, with your mothers history and your Ashkenazi roots would strongly advice you do."

and just as I was passing her of as another doctor that is just practically going about her precautionary protocol.She
Qualifies her opinion with " mia in ten years time, I want to be able to dance with you at your wedding, I want to be the first to applaud you as you receive an award for a play - I don't want to be sitting there saying - why didn't someone tell this girl about prevention.so I'm telling you now..."
My name is mia perovetz, my mother died four years ago from metastatic breast cancer. I am 25 and have just made the decision to start 6 month cancer screenings. My play: The Things I Wish My Mother Would Have Told Me.. is my journey and fear of discovering if I'm a ticking time bomb. There is no other metaphor more suitable for cancer...
Thank you Joanna for encouraging me to be brave and inspiring me to share my story.

I open October 22nd in NYC
www.thethingsiwish.com

Chicago Tribune Magazine Article - October 5th, 2008

I just read the article in the Chicago Tribune magazine section on Joanna Rudnick's film and I was dismayed to see that a very vital and essential piece of information was missing from this article and, I assume, the film that would bring a huge measure of hope and light to these suffering people. She mentioned wanting to have children and wishing that someone could look at all her genes and see if she would have ovarian or breast cancer but what she did not mention - which to me means that she did not know - is that the premier institution in the united states - virtually unknown - exists right here in Chicago.(Reproductive Genetics Institute - www.reproductivegenetics.com) Right here under everyone's noses is an institution that can virtually wipe out genetic diseases from the family tree and insure that she could not only have children but virtually guarantee that she will not pass on this gene or any other genetic disease that she might be carrying to her children.

Please - this is such important information for others to have - I have a daughter with a very crippling genetic disease and MY OWN GENETIC COUNSELOR who is world renowned in Chicago and the nation did not remember to or think of telling me about this institution. I only know about it because I was hired to write a book on an entirely different topic by the Vice President of Business and Marketing Development there and took a tour of the facility. I was so impressed I went back 3 times and ended up putting together a group of 16 people to tour the facility. It is vital that people know that they have these options.

I would very much like to take Joanna there - or any other individual who would like to learn how they can have children without genetic diseases - and show her that she CAN HAVE perfect healthy children and I would like EVERYONE who read the articles or saw this film to know that they can too.

Our resources on Reproductive Genetics!

Hi aromatic!

I'm thrilled that you saw the piece on Joanna in the Chicago Tribune. Thank you for sharing this important information about PGD.

We have an entire section devoted to PGD (and linking to the gentetics institute) in our RESOURCES page under: "I Have a BRCA Mutation."

For all interested - check out the facts here!!

Thanks,
beckie

Awareness

I was so thrilled to read Inheritance of Loss in the Sunday October 5th Tribune. The words and meaning purposely and so eloquently afford so many victims with education and information on a topic that is all too often stigmatized and avoided because it is painful to discuss.

I believe the quote “…information really is a blessing. It’s a source of power.” perfectly depicts the relevant take away message.

I work every day with clients nationwide in Joanna’s situation. Women who are facing the fear of the unknown, and the inherent actuality of not being able to deal with the outcome of test results, or worst yet the reality of what options may exist, if any.

These are beautiful women in the prime of their reproductive years and like Joanna, need to know how best to maximize their chances of success while simultaneously increasing their opportunities for biological family building. It pains me to see women so secretive, ashamed and feeling isolated and alone in this difficult decision making process.

It is my hope that your very powerful and important message will help women become their own best advocates as it relates to their health. Advocacy must start with education, awareness, information, and resources necessary to allow each one of us to make informed medical decisions.

In my experience, part of the decision making process that needs to be incorporated when dealing with test results or deciding whether or not to undergo testing is often influenced by the desire and innate need to have biological offspring. Perhaps if women knew and understood the available options today in the very advanced and technologically savvy world of in-vitro fertilization, the difficult decisions that have to be made, may be lessened by the increase in reproductive opportunities available today for the future.

It is my hope that Joanna Rudnick would further empower her devout audience with a sequel to her film…Inheritance of Hope.

Sincerely,
Mindy Berkson
www.lotusblossomconsulting.com

Thank You

Thank you so much for making this film. I watched it on my computer today. I just found out that I am BRCA 1 positive. My mom passed away from Ovarian Cancer in 1992 after a seven year fight. Losing my mom has had such a huge impact on my life. I always had cancer in the back of my mind. But, I really was surprised to get Ovarian Cancer this March 2008. I was 1a. I had a huge tumor. I was very lucky that it was found early. After surgery I had the BRCA test done. I was not surprised to be positive. My mom was 39 and I was 40 when we got Ovarian cancer. My sister and my moms sister have tested negative. I'm so glad for that. They have a hard time talking about it. I think they must feel quilty. I have survived cancer! It's just so hard to think that I could get breast cancer. What do I do with my ta ta's. Watching the film today made it all seem not so scary.
Thank you again.
Gwen Duckworth

waiting....

Thank you so much for this- I am waiting... MN is showing it tomorrow...finally!

I read the press kit and have been all over the site- I keep forwarding the website to BRCA friends. I am glad FORCE had it on their site.

My daughter is BRCA2+...

As a mom it's heartbreaking. For Natasha, its such a struggle... it kills me somedays. I wish I had the answers, the advice.. but I feel so inadequate. I am grateful to see some of the hard questions asked- I listened to the radio mp3..thank you for having that on the site.

Natasha is just 22 and trying to decide-it's impossible somedays as it's so overwhelming.

Trying to live, decide, have a relationship? surgery? grad school? kids? money for doctor appointments? tell or don't tell? Your life can't be "normal" anymore...

I could go on and on but I won't. I am just glad that there is others who have the ability to help educate. No one seems to know about BRCA, including the medical profession and it makes me angry. After 2 years, I am still searching for reliable information to educate myself and my daughter. Her doctors have totally let us down. I refuse to let my daughter be just a statistic.

Thank you so very much.
I am anxiously awaiting the showing!

diana~

The Film Premiere in New York

I attended the screening at the Paley Center on Sept. 15th and haven't stopped thinking about the doc. In fact, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I'm blogging about the film at The Boomer Muse, my blog at www.laylamorganwilde.com

The best only documentary on BRCA carriers

I have told Joanna how much I love what she did. We had a recent screening in Philly in September and I am now even more dedicated to being there for anyone who is a carrier, may be or has a question about it. FORCE is there for me in so many ways and "In The Family" has brought it all to the forefront. POV is a great place to have a premiere. I will do all I can to help in whatever way I can to make this the ultimate in helping the general public, the insurance companies and the government understand our position.

Beth

21 year survivor stage IIIc ovarian cancer with BRCA2 mutation

I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 1987 when I was 41 years old. I found out I have the BRCA2 mutation in 1999 when I was in a study originating in Toronto. The testing was not done through Myriad and there was no cost to me. I chose to go on medication to lower my risk of breast cancer, first Tamoxifen and then Femara and now Evista. Five years ago I started getting breast MRI's in addition to mammograms.

I thought the film was excellent. My only criticism is that oral medication was not mentioned to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

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