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WUSA9 Executive Producer Shares Angelina Jolie's Story

5:10 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Odds are someone sitting in your office, or who lives on your block may be living with the breast cancer gene.

Maybe they're struggling with what to do, or worse, don't even know they have it. 

A courageous Executive Producer here at WUSA9 wants you to take two minutes to listen to her story, because it could save your life or the life of someone you know. 

"My first thought was I never thought I'd ever have anything in common with Angelina Jolie. (laughter)  Really." 

Wendy Bailey could be you, she could be your sister, your friend. The TV producer's long, tough dance with breast cancer and chances started after she received the devastating news her dad was ill.
"My mom gave him a hug one day and found a lump so he immediately got it checked out, we found out that men could get breast cancer and we had no idea," says Bailey.
Her dad's sisters already lost their battles to breast cancer in their early 40's. At her dad's insistence, Bailey and her sister got the test and found out they both had the BRCA2 gene, and with that, a high risk. 
"I think being young and in my 20s and just married I was in denial that this could happen to me," she said.
She didn't act on it right away. 
Bailey says, "I visited about 6 different oncologists in the area and I got 6 different opinions about the percentage of risk that I had to get breast cancer."
She kept a watchful eye, had her children, a beautiful boy and girl. 
"Then the first path I chose was an oophorectomy which is when you remove your ovaries," said Bailey.
Reducing her risk by 50% - but not her worrying. She got into a study at NIH. "During the time I was doing the study I had 3 biopsies where I had scares," recalls Bailey, "Along with I think I had 4 friends diagnosed that were my age."
To Bailey, a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction was her only option. She had at least three good reasons. 
"It became I want to be around for them and I want to be around for my husband and I want to live a really long life."
Bailey is what she and others call a "previvor" - she says every woman needs to know her family history, because even though it's been a tough road - knowledge is power.

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