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Maggie Smith

The official site for My Lifetime Commitment
Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
Maggie Smith
After both her mother and Aunt were diagnosed with breast cancer, Maggie Smith discovered she had inherited the BRCA2 gene mutation and became a “Previvor” by having a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and hysterectomy to significantly reduce her chances of developing cancer down the road.
Breast cancer first appeared in her life at age 12 when her mother was diagnosed. From that point on, cancer has become an unwelcomed presence in her life; the cause of great fear and loss. While Maggie’s mother courageously fought and triumphed over her first bout with breast cancer, it was not long before her Aunt also developed the disease and lost her life to it. Shortly thereafter Maggie’s mother discovered a second breast cancer and learned it was caused by an inherited mutation in the BRCA2 gene.
At the time, Maggie was in the Army, stationed in Germany and busy prepping for deployment to Iraq. Once she had safely returned home and given birth to her daughter, Maggie underwent genetic counseling, knowing she had a 50% chance of inheriting the same genetic mutation and an unusually high risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. Her test was positive; she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation. Acting quickly, she made the decision to have a both breasts removed to significantly reduce her cancer risk.

On the morning of her mastectomy surgery, Maggie gallantly entered Walter Reed Medical Center wearing a rhinestone "Save the Ta-Tas" t-shirt. The following day, she walked out of the hospital as a woman empowered. She had taken control of her destiny and faced her cancer risk head-on.
Just two weeks later, Maggie began intensive physical training that enabled her to qualify for the 2010 Boston Marathon.

Following tha her gift to herself on her 30th birthday was a hysterectomy, a procedure that ensures she will live to see her daughter grow up.
Soon after, Maggie discovered Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) (www.facingourrisk.org, the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Through FORCE, Maggie learned that she was an empowered Previvor, someone who has a predisposition to cancer but does not have the disease. Maggie’s mother is now enduring her third, most threatening battle with breast cancer; this time it’s metastatic. Maggie is healthy and continues as a positive role model for her daughter, who may have inherited the family’s gene mutation and someday may face the same difficult decisions her mother made.

Today, Maggie is an enthusiastic FORCE volunteer, promoting awareness, knowledge and solidarity to support other Previvors that face the fears she knows so well. Maggie’s message is to know your family medical history and seek genetic counseling if you think cancer runs in your family. She proudly continues to defend our country and is currently in graduate school while fulfilling her duties as an Army Cadet.

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