When Krystal Barter was just 25 years old, she had a double mastectomy. She didn’t have cancer but knew it was the right thing to do.
You see, Krystal knew she had a gene that gave her an incredibly high chance of getting breast cancer one day. That gene had started with great grandmother and had been passed down to her grandmother, then her mum and eventually to her.
She says, “It’s affected my family, it’s put hardships on my life growing up. But you know what? I’ve turned my story into a victory.”
Her victory was starting the Pink Hope Foundation in 2009 from her hospital bed, and now she’s written a book called The Lucky One.
In this video for The Book Circle, Krystal’s talking about her new book alongside Aria award winning singer Kate Ceberano and Peter Brock’s former wife Bev Brock.
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The Lucky One – Krystal Barter
‘I feel lucky I was born with cancer in my DNA. Crazy as it sounds, I consider myself lucky that, when I was just twenty-two years old, I discovered I had a ninety per cent chance of developing breast cancer: the same, insidious disease that had attacked my Mum, and my Nan before her and my Great-Grandma before her.’
Krystal Barter is an extraordinary young woman: a fighter, a survivor, a wife, a mother and a crusader. She was born with the breast cancer gene, a hereditary curse that has run through generation after generation in her family, claiming at least twenty of her close relatives. But unlike them, Krystal was able to take the BRCA1 gene test, and found out the devastating news that she too was carrying the rogue gene. She had the courage to face her greatest fear, knowing that she could control and change her destiny – and even more courageously, she did.
At the age of 25, with her husband and two children beside her, she decided to have a double mastectomy – on national television, no less, so she could inspire others in similar circumstances to do the same. Realising there was nowhere she could find support, Krystal started a unique charity and fund-raising platform called Pink Hope from her hospital bed. Pink Hope is a safe haven and resource for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Krystal is dedicated to helping women be informed and supported so they will feel less alone at a crucial time of their lives.