In 2013, Grand Valley State University student Mollie Smith (political science minor, broadcasting major) founded the first collegiate organization in the nation to focus on prevention and early detection of BRCA-related cancers. BRCAn't Stop Me, a GVSU student organization, provides a support for students who carry the BRCA gene mutation or have a family history of cancer.
Harmful inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can significantly increase the risk of breast, ovarian and other cancers.
The BRCAn’t Stop Me website explains that the group aims to “raise awareness of the BRCA gene mutation among young adults, help affected students become more proactive about their increased risk of cancer, support those who have or are affected by the BRCA gene mutation, and provide information about genetic counseling.”
The group meets regularly on campus and hosts a variety of events throughout the year to raise funds and awareness about BRCA.
Smith has found her political science minor to be quite useful. "The political science courses I have taken at Grand Valley State University have helped me excel in numerous areas in my life. The political knowledge I have received in my courses is helping me excel as a WOOD TV8 News intern. I think it is so important for young individuals to understand our political system and I am fortunate that Grand Valley has given me this knowledge," Smith said.