In 2013, Grand Valley State University student Mollie Smith (broadcasting major, political science minor) 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 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.
As the BRCAn’t Stop Me website explains, the organization 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.” BRCAn’t Stop Me has partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to expand to other universities and to raise funds for hereditary cancer research. Smith’s work with BRCAn’t Stop Me has been featured in USA Today, WOOD TV8, WZZM, Michigan Radio, WDIV and Pink and Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer.
In addition to her work with BRCAn’t Stop Me, Smith has worked as a Contract Worker for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and as a product specialist at Gail and Rice. She is currently a sales account manager at Learning Care Group in Novi, Michigan.
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