Tonight at just after midnight, FORCE and this community will celebrate our 13th birthday. It is hard to believe that it has been thirteen years since I founded FORCE, on New Years. As the new year rang in, I was sitting at my computer, fresh out of treatment and prophylactic surgery, posting on a brand-new website and putting out the call on other boards for women who had hereditary cancer or a BRCA mutation in their family to come post on the message boards. I felt alone, there was no organization, and no community that recognized the impact of hereditary cancer or that provided a sense of understanding and unity for those like me with a genetic predisposition to cancer. With my first post came the beginning of FORCE. On New Year’s every year since, I wax nostalgic about that day and about the amazing growth of this organization into the voice and heart of the hereditary cancer community, and a FORCE for support, resources, empowerment, and change.
As the new year rolls in, I will try to take some time to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments even as I look forward to new initiatives and addressing the ongoing challenges we must overcome. I hope that 2012 brings all my FORCE friends good health, hope, friendship, love, support, and well-being. May this year be the one that brings us new and better research, treatment, detection, and prevention options. May our community continue to grow. May we find new friends, honor old friends, and remember those departed. May each of us give and receive in equal measure love, support, and friendship.
For everyone reading this blog and for everyone who is part of our great community, Happy New Year my friends, and happy birthday to FORCE.