Breast cancer survivor Thursday: In the family

Breast Cancer Survivor Story

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - As parents we want to protect our children. But for south Charlotte mom Stacy Busby... her teenage daughter Emma couldn’t be protected from what Stacy genetically passed down.

Stacy Busby was a young mother when diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2001. Stacy had a bilateral mastectomy, then raised her daughter to know breast cancer as part of their family. Young Emma grew up going to Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure’s her whole life. As Emma got older, she started hearing about this thing called a BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene test where she and her mom could genetically test the likelihood they’d get breast cancer.

Stacy had already survived it -- but Emma’s future was unknown. Even more than that, she had a gut feeling she had it. So Emma and her mom got the gene test to find the results for Emma. Turns out, her gut was right. The average woman’s possibility of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 12%. But Emma’s genetic test showed, she has a 60-70% chance -- way higher than most women.

" I was actually at work when my genetic counselor called me with results,” Emma said. “And it was an unknown number on the phone and I just started freaking out. I just knew. It sort of scared me. Because I didn’t want to have to go through this. I didn’t want to deal with this. I wanted to have an easy life."

Her mother was rattled as well. “It’s a lot, but at least we know,” she said. “Whereas before when I was, when I got the gene, it was ‘Don’t tell anyone. Just say you need a mammogram.’ But now, it’s really open."

Emma is now a freshman at East Carolina University. She’ll have mammograms early and often, is thinking about the possibility of getting a preventative mastectomy, and will be coming home from school the weekend of October 6th, to once again, stand beside Stacy at this year’s Race for the Cure.

“She’s amazing,” Emma said. “I want to be just like her when I’m older. She’s so strong." Race for the Cure can be a really emotional morning full of all the emotions. Please join Stacy, Emma and the thousands of us next weekend on October 6th.

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