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Weekend Express with Lynn Smith

Fast-paced look at the day's essential news and buzz-worthy stories

The O'Brien sisters: Battling cancer together

  • The O'Brien sisters each have the BRCA 2 gene.
  • Their mother also had breast cancer and their father has battled prostate cancer.

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The O'Brien sisters: Battling cancer together

Meet Kathleen, Angel and Brenda O'Brien. From the outside looking in, they look like three sisters who are fiercely close. Take a closer look, and you learn what bonds them together is much more than childhood memories and genetics. The O'Brien sisters have all heard the painful news: Yes, you have breast cancer. They all have undergone painful surgeries and they all know every last treatment option.

The O'Brien sisters each have the BRCA 2 gene, putting them at a much higher risk of developing breast cancer. To make their own struggles even more painful, the three also have experienced breast cancer once before-- through their mother's diagnosis and battle with the disease. Brenda was the first to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Her sister Angel was next-- after becoming very sick while singing at Brenda's benefit. Shortly after, a visit to the doctor confirmed what she feared: she too had breast cancer. Kathleen, the oldest of the three, was diagnosed after being pressured by Brenda and Angel to receive an annual exam.

In one short year, the three were all diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite the grim and painful road the O'Brien sisters have been forced to travel down, they know they are not alone in their journey. They rely heavily on each other and their support system to help them overcome the bittersweet moments.  They also work together to raise awareness about breast cancer through a number of fundraisers.

To learn more about the O'Brien sisters and their story, check out their website.


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