Empowering children to learn their family's health history
To Start a Conversation about Your Family's Health History
Families with genetic mutations that heighten their risk for disease face many complex and personal decisions including how and when to share such information with their children. In fact, many parents express that they choose to undergo genetic testing to learn whether they have a mutation that could be passed on to their children. Further, these parents may elect to have preventive surgeries and often look for guidance on how to explain this decision to their children as the decision to undergo these procedures impacts the entire family.
We understand that talking to your children about your family's health history can feel overwhelming at times. It is with that understanding that we set out to develop resources that can help you share health information with young children in a way that matches their maturity level with concepts that they can grasp. These communication tools should approach the topic of hereditary risk in a manner that will not create unnecessary worry or anxiety. Our books approach the conversation in stages, help pace the dissemination of information, and help guide the process of when and how to discuss your family's health history.
It is our mission to help you start a conversation with age appropriate content so that your children can understand risk, establish healthy lifestyle behaviors, and grow into proactive patients.
Shannon Pulaski is an attorney, author, and avid patient advocate. Shortly after her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to a BRCA mutation, Shannon Pulaski learned that she inherited the same gene. Carrying this gene mutation meant that Shannon faced up to an 72% chance of developing breast cancer and up to a 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Understanding what was at risk, she made the decision to be proactive about her health and take affirmative action to reduce her risk of hereditary cancer. Since learning of her BRCA status, Shannon has dedicated her efforts to advocating for patients. She volunteers as an Ambassador for Bright Pink, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on early detection and prevention of breast and ovarian cancers, and she also serves on the Young Leadership Council for The Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
As a mother, Shannon Pulaski felt compelled to share her family's health history with her children so that they can understand risk, live proactively, and become educated patients. She created Mom's Genes to help families get a conversation started about their own family's health history.
Shannon resides in New Jersey with her loving husband and their three children. She dreams of one day soon where better options will be available for those that are predisposed to hereditary disease.