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It's in the genes, find out how they could save a life

Jenn Ervin .jpeg
Posted at 2:01 PM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-19 18:47:55-04

BALTIMORE — "My grandmother suffered. My sister suffered, but if there's a way that you can empower yourself with knowledge and information, that's what I really hope I can share," Jenn Ervin Ehrlich said.

Ehrlich is on a mission to save others.

While her grandmother passed away decades ago from breast cancer, her sister died in October 2018 after battling the disease three times over 8-9 years.

Stephani was 54-years-old.

"How often do you think about her," we asked.

"Every day, every single day, all day. I'm sorry it just makes me really sad," Ehrlich said.

With a first and second-degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer in their mid 40's, Ehrlich was at a higher risk.

She was tested for a possible genetic mutation, at the time the most common was the BRACA mutation.

"I was negative, and I was like yes, I dodged a bullet," Ehrlich said.

What she didn't know was there are more than a dozen different mutations for breast cancer.

As she watched her sister suffer through another battle, she learned there was expanded testing. Her doctor suggested it for her.
Ehrlich tested positive for the Check 2 mutation and so did her sister, but it was too late for Stephani. The third time her cancer returned, it had spread to her brain.
"We're coming up on five years now and it feels like forever. I miss her every single day. I do feel like she was with me in writing this book," Ehrlich said.

Last year, she decided to write a book. She called it Ripped Genes.

She was writing as a previvor, someone living with a genetic disposition to breast cancer.
To make sure it never reared its ugly head, Ehrlich had to be screened and scanned just about every six months until;

"I said enough was enough. I don't want to walk around with these ticking time bombs anymore and I decided to have a prophylactic mastectomy myself and in the pathology report that came back after the surgery, it was found that I actually had a stage zero cancer tumor in one of my breasts that really had been hiding there for probably years undetected. So at that point, I went from a previvor to a survivor," Ehrlich explained.

Now, she's sharing her family story to encourage others to get tested.

"It's a very heavy thing to walk around with that knowledge, but to me ignorance is not bliss. Knowledge is power. If I didn't know that I had the Check 2 mutation, I wouldn't have been getting screened and scanned every other month and I probably would have gotten invasive breast cancer," Ehrlich added.

To purchase the book, click here.