Oneinforty is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the one-in-forty risk to those of Ashkenazi Jewish (Eastern European) descent of inheriting BRCA gene mutations, and provides education and support to individuals and families to help them manage their cancer risk.
Oneinforty was founded from personal experience.
In late 2016 at the age of 45, Lauren sought genetic counseling and screening on a friend’s urging. The screening–a simple blood test–showed that she had inherited a mutation in her BRCA1 gene from her father, putting her at much higher risk than the general population of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Lauren’s genetic counselor advised her to have, surgery that would have dramatically reduced her risk of developing ovarian cancer. But it was too late. Around the same time, Lauren had an MRI of her back to determine the cause of severe back pain she had been experiencing. The MRI revealed an incidental finding of what turned out to be Stage 4 ovarian cancer that had metastasized to lymph nodes.
Given her family history of breast cancer and her Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, Lauren should have been referred to a genetic counselor and screened for the BRCA gene mutations many years ago. If she had, she would have learned of the mutation earlier, when interventions could have made a difference.
While undergoing cancer treatment, Lauren discovered that most American Jews of eastern and central European descent, like her, are not aware of the one-in-forty chance of having a mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that puts them at much higher risk than the general population of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer (male or female), and/or prostate cancer.
She set out on a mission to educate the community, healthcare providers, and policy makers about the one-in-forty risk to the Ashkenazi Jewish population of inheriting a BRCA gene mutation, because she wanted to help families avoid the situation she and her family found themselves in. If Lauren had known about her BRCA status earlier in life, she may have been able to prevent or identify the cancer earlier.
In late 2020, after years of treatments, Lauren, just 49 years old, passed away peacefully. Lauren was compassionate, giving, smart, fierce, generous, loving, and showed us all that with determination and action you can make a difference.
We continue to honor Lauren and the countless families impacted by hereditary cancer by fulfilling Lauren’s mission to stop BRCA-related cancer in its tracks.
Howard I. GoldsteinA”H
Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD
Claudia F. Califano, MD
Amy H. Comander, MD
Betty K. Cooperstein, LICSW
Kimberly DeLeonardis, MS, LGC
Jennifer G. Filipi, FNP-C
Julie Gold, PhD
Whitfield Growdon, MD
Laura Heideman-Dowd, LICSW
Helen M. Hunt, MD
Allison McDonough, MD
Marcia Lewin-Berlin, LICSW, ACHP-SW
Meredith Seidel, MS, LGC
Debbi Shamon, LICSW
Jill Stopfer, MS, LGC
Barbara Cooper Design
Cara Soulia Photography
If your synagogue, community-based organization, school or cancer center is interested in becoming a Oneinforty program partner by hosting a Oneinforty symposium or talk, and/or promoting each other’s work, please contact us.
Oneinforty ambassadors are passionate about our organization’s mission and volunteer to help publicize educational events, elevate our visibility in the community, and secure resources. If you are interested in becoming a Oneinforty ambassador, please contact us.
Amy Byer Shainman
Emily Erhardt, RN
Carolyn Lee Kohlman, LICSW
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum
Peter Ollman, DMD
Laura Sullivan, RN
Stacy Walker, NP