Published Book – Clarissa Foster, Author of “Understanding BRCA”

Cancer is a subject close to my heart, as our families have experienced relatives who have passed away, as well as some who have survived. I have friends who carry the BRCA gene and have recommended this book to them. Also I have spent many years raising money for cancer research through Karate demonstrations.

Meet Clarissa Foster, who carries a BRCA2 gene mutation and is an author, also a mum of two and wife to James. I met Clarissa back in July 2015, when she found me via my website and commissioned me to create the image for her book cover.

It has been a pleasure to get to know Clarissa and I was delighted to work with her to create the look and feel for her book cover that has been published internationally.

Clarissa was kind enough to make time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions and be a guest blogger to share her story. This was a very rewarding project to be involved with and I’m very excited to see it go international!

Enjoy reading Clarissa’s answers below.

Tell me in 50 words or less about your job?
I am the author of a book called ‘Understanding BRCA’. I also manage the associated support website www.understandingbrca.co.uk and a linked Facebook group. The main aim of my job is to provide support for others who, like me, have been found to carry a harmful BRCA gene mutation.

Which part of your job inspires you the most?
What inspires me is my love of human biology and, above all, my desire to help others. Through writing this book, I have been able to fulfil both.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in business?
After extensive reading of the medical literature, and liaising with various medical professionals, I have developed a strong knowledge of BRCA gene mutations, which has then enabled me to write my book. The knowledge that I have gained, coupled with my own experience of undergoing risk-reducing surgery, has put me in a unique position to be able to offer my support to others around the world. One of the most important things I have learnt is that only by being very well informed myself, have I been able to meet my goal of helping others.

Who do you admire the most and why?
Angelina Jolie – for so bravely sharing with the world her decision to undergo a mastectomy and the removal of her ovaries; she has shown the world that it is possible to undergo these surgeries and to remain a beautiful woman.

Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?
‘When you feel like quitting think about why you started’ – I love this quote! There were some tough moments during the writing of my book and, at times, I would ask myself ‘why am I putting myself through this?!’ But, glancing at this quote, which stands on my office desk, I would be reminded of why I set about writing this book – to help others!

What drives you?
As previously mentioned, what drives me is helping others. Carrying a BRCA gene mutation can be a very lonely journey with few people fully understanding the physical, mental, emotional and psychosexual impact that this can have on an individual’s life. I feel very honoured to be in a position to help others, to not only feel more empowered, but also to feel less alone.

What are your biggest business challenges?
As with all medicine, BRCA is an ever-changing field and it will be important for me to stay abreast of future literature. Furthermore, there is a need for me to remain unbiased and to be mindful of the fact that everyone’s journey is a personal one – what is the right risk-reducing strategies for one, may not be the right choice for another. When providing support to others, there is a need to balance my strong knowledge of medical literature with the individual’s personal feelings as to what is the right choice for them.

Do you have any current offers that you can extend to my readers?
My webpage www.understandingbrca.co.uk and associated Facebook support group – Understanding BRCA – is available to anyone affected by a BRCA gene mutation. If you have been recently found to carry a harmful BRCA gene mutation, or if you fear that you may be at high risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer, please get in touch and I will do all that I can to provide as much support as possible.

In addition to Clarissa’s website and facebook details above, you can email her directly at clarissa@understandingbrca.co.uk and Twitter: @BRCAHelp

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