The first thing you need to know about the BRCA gene is that you have it.
Don't panic. Everyone does. In fact, we all have two of them -- the BRCA1 and 2 genes. They are normal genes that "have an important function in the cell. They are involved in repairing DNA damage," explained Dr. Robert Nussbaum, a medical geneticist at UCSF. "When they're functioning normally, they do a good job for us."
The barriers to getting health care can be bad enough in urban areas, where poverty, lack of insurance and cultural divides are serious barriers to care. But if you live in rural parts of California there’s another, really serious barrier - distance. As part of our first-person series "What's Your Story?" we hear from Kelly Frost of Redding about how the care you need may be a hours away from your home.
Many Americans seek prescription medication to manage stress, anxiety and depression. But for some, the pills become a problem in their own right. As part of our first-person series "What's Your Story?" we hear from Sabirah Mustafa of Oakland about how she and her doctor came up with another approach.
There was little in her background to suggest Vanessa Armendariz could become a doctor. But at key moments when she was growing up, mentors from similar circumstances made her dream seem possible. Armendariz explains now as part of KQED Public Radio's occasional series, "What's Your Story?"
As part of KQED's occasional series, "What's Your Story," Oakland native Caheri Gutierrez shares her story about working with at-risk high schools students after she herself was shot in the face as a teenager. Guiterrez is a Violence Prevention Educator for Youth Alive, an Oakland non-profit with a mission to prevent youth violence. Below are excerpts of our conversation:
Editor’s Note: Jon Wheeler used to have a difficult time controlling his anger in romantic relationships. As part of our occasional series, “What’s Your Story?” Wheeler shares how a group in Santa Rosa called Men Evolving Non-Violently, or M.E.N., helped him change his abusive behaviors. Now, he leads those same groups, helping other men who … Continue reading Sonoma County Man Learns to Control Anger and Violence →
I was very active. I did yoga. I did yoga for 40 years. I was in an exercise class that met every morning at quarter to 8. I drove the car for friends to go to the symphony in the city. I was the one who took someone’s walker and put it in the trunk. So when I fell it was unbelievable. I didn’t dream I would wind up in a wheelchair.
My dad suffered really badly from PTSD -– post-traumatic stress disorder. And that was due to the traumatic things that he had seen in the war and he never really sought proper treatment.
He just never seemed comfortable. He never seemed at peace. He always seemed like he was trying to relax and he could never fully relax.
Two years ago I was shot in my leg while waiting for the bus. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After being shot, I was told that I would never walk again, or that if I did, I'd have to walk with a cane. Being that I had to stay in bed for three months straight, not being able to walk or hold my own baby or do anything for myself, I became depressed. I didn't want anything to do with life. Mentally, I was not here. I couldn't believe what was going on. I was angry, confused and hurt.
For 24 years I've been forced to live in the shadows because of a choice that was never mine.
I’m an ‘illegal.’ My parents brought me here from Mexico when I was five, and I have been living -- undocumented -- in the United States ever since. I have two amazing children and a loving fiance but my road has been hard.