I was 20 when I found out I was a BRCA1 gene carrier after being tested following my mum's second breast cancer diagnosis. In the beginning I was really confused, angry and emotional as I didn't really know what the BRCA gene was or what it meant for me personally. I was given so much information that I found very overwhelming.

Around 6 months later I found a lump in my breast, after scans and a biopsy it turned out just to be cyst but experiencing this gave me so much of a fright I decided that I had to do something about it as I couldnt live everyday thinking "will today be the day?".

I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using implants in 2016. I was 23 years old. Being so young, body confidence was one of my main concerns, I thought I'd never want to look in the mirror again but through time and with the support of my partner I grew more confident and now when I look in the mirror or see my scars I feel really proud.

Throughout this period of my life I wanted someone to talk to who knew what I was going through and what I was feeling. I had so many questions and nobody to answer them. I decided to become a volunteer for Breast Cancer Now so that others who find themselves in this position know that they are not alone. 

You can email me at gemma@breastcancernow.org