Meet Karen Malkin Lazarovitz: BRCA gene mutation carrier
Karen Malkin Lazarovitz was a working mom and wife living in Montreal when she found out she was a BRCA gene mutation carrier 8 years ago.
The BRCA gene is something we all have, it typically helps us fight off tumors and cancer, but Karen’s mutation predisposed her to a much higher risk of ovarian, breast and many other cancers, so she was faced with the decision to undergo preventative surgery to remove her healthy breasts, uterus and ovaries to bring her high risk of these cancers down.
She decided to undergo the surgeries, so six weeks after receiving the results she underwent her first surgery, her next shortly after.
Karen decided to reconstruct her breasts but chose not to recreate her nipples and instead tattooed one side with a beautiful flower design and left the other side as it was. This was to remind her of where she had come from and where she had gotten to.
She decided to define her own beauty.
Since then Karen has been an advocate for women defining beauty on their own terms. Running the largest online support group for BRCA gene mutation carrier's she strives to support women and men on their journey with the BRCA mutation and to also encourage them that no matter what happens to their body during the process, that they are still beautiful.
Battling with feeling uncomfortable with her body, she realized after her surgery that society’s portrayal of beauty is not the only kind of beautiful.
While she had gone through something scary she felt so empowered that she had decided the fate of her own life and that, scars and all, was beautiful.