Ed Hoppe received genetic testing after his prostate cancer diagnosis because of his extensive family history of cancer. The Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer test discovered he had a mutation in his BRCA1 gene, meaning his cancer is hereditary. Both of Ed’s daughters, Ellen Hoppe and Emily Madden, took the myRisk test and found out they too were BRCA1 positive.

“Cancer is a big part of my life, it still is with my dad being in remission from prostate cancer,” said Ed’s oldest daughter Emily. “There are other people that I’ve lost that I have been close to, but my Aunt Peggy was someone that I was very close with. It was like losing a mom.”

Peggy is Ed’s sister and she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 42.

“One of my worries when my mom was diagnosed, she was already in stage four,” said Peggy’s daughter Katie Holt. “I grew up hearing ovarian cancer is the silent killer.”

At the time, the family was unaware of genetic testing and that Peggy’s cancer may have been hereditary. Because Peggy died by age 45, Katie was concerned about the possibility of ovarian cancer being her future.

After Emily and Ellen’s myRisk Hereditary Cancer tests both came back positive, they told their cousins on their dad’s side that they should also be tested for this gene mutation.

“I thought for sure that I was going to test positive,” said Peggy’s daughter Katie. “But they said I was negative, I didn’t have it.”

“Since I have found out that I am BRCA1 positive and that it did come through my father’s lineage, it’s one of those things that I tell other people – you can’t just say oh my mom, my mom’s family doesn’t have this history of cancer, because it doesn’t matter,” said Ellen. “It can come from your mom or your dad.”

Emily and Ellen are both relieved and thankful that they have this genetic information, now they can get a step ahead and take measures to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer.

“I am so thankful that we have this technology and this science to protect our family in a way, we don’t want to lose another one.” – Katie Holt

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