A letter from BRACHA's founder:
BRACHA was founded in loving memory of my mother, Joyce Cohen, and my sister, Deborah Waxman, may their memories be a blessing, who both tragically passed away from hereditary cancer.
I too tested positive for a genetic mutation in my DNA that made me at very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. The knowledge that I had a genetic mutation was the greatest blessing I could receive as the knowledge provided me with the unique opportunity to be proactive and change the genetic destiny that I had inherited as well as that of my family.
Research and development in genetic sequencing, testing and new drug development has created a new era of personalized medicine and together with our knowledge and experience BRACHA has become the first NGO to promote broad genetic testing to enable individualized treatment for cancer.
Cancers such as breast, pancreatic, melanoma, ovarian, colon, uterus and others can all be caused due to genetic mutations. Genetic mutations are ten times more likely amongst the Jewish population and other smaller minorities in Israel. 1 in every 40 Jews has a genetic mutation giving them a very high risk for cancer.
Since 50% of people with DNA mutations have no family history of cancer, in order to know your risk you have to do genetic testing. As the founder of The BRACHA Organisation I believe that everyone has the right to choose to know their cancer risk and to know their options.
BRACHA is dedicated to raising awareness of hereditary cancers, encourage genetic testing of the DNA and of cancerous tumors, and advocating the need for further research and new drugs. Our ultimate aim is to lower the number of hereditary cancers diagnosed and to witness positive outcomes for all diagnosed with hereditary cancers.
BRACHA is based in Israel where it works with all the different sectors of Israeli society as well as being active within the International community. BRACHA is run 100% by volunteers. All donations are used to run BRACHA programs which include: outreach, education, advocacy and the support of families touched by hereditary cancers.
BRACHA is a true blessing, providing the knowledge and support to empower people to make life saving choices.
The Jewish heritage sanctifies life above all else:
"Whoever saves a life; it is considered as if he saved an entire world" Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5
I hope you too will be our partner in this life saving mission.
Many thanks, blessings and good health,
Founder & CEO
BRACHA – Living with a high risk of hereditary cancer.
BRACHA noun 1. Something you are grateful for E.g. the knowledge I received from the genetic test was a true bracha. 2. A blessing of thanks
Welcome to BRACHA – Living with a high risk of hereditary cancer
The BRACHA website is for all those who are affected by Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) and other hereditary cancers: pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma. We want to help you assess if you are at high risk and give you the tools that will empower you to reduce your risk. BRACHA wishes to give you the strength and support necessary to face this challenge and lead a fulfilling life.
The BRACHA community is diverse: Healthy BRCA mutation carriers (women and men), Previvors – women who have undergone risk reducing surgery, women with breast cancer, breast cancer survivors, women with ovarian cancer and women with metastatic breast cancer.
BRACHA – Living with a high risk of hereditary cancer is an Israeli non-profit voluntary organisation, registered number 580508075. Since its foundation in 2009, BRACHA has focused on raising awareness about HBOC - Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancers. The aim of BRACHA is to provide current knowledge and education about genetic testing, ways to reduce the risk of HBOC and information on research and medical innovations.
BRACHA provides a warm and caring community to all those with high risk or those diagnosed with hereditary cancers and their families, as well as advocating for the rights of the BRACHA community.
In the general population 1 in 400 people have a mutation in the BRCA gene but 1 in 40 Jewish people have it. Thus functioning in Israel, "the land of BRCA" with 10 times more genetic mutations than in other societies, BRACHA has a huge task to raise awareness about BRCA genetic mutations.