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Double mastectomy story, one woman's journey

By Jamie Hicks
Published On: May 17 2013 07:14:51 PM CDT

Due to her family history, Katie knew she had a decision to make. After going to a genetic counselor she decided to take action to end the family cycle.

JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY -

News Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a double mastectomy is spreading across the country.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with an Onslow County woman who shared her story, on having the same procedure.  

At 24-years-old, Katie Kosma lost her best friend, her mother, after a ten year battle with breast cancer. It’s a disease Kosma knows all too well after also losing both her great grandmother and grandmother to breast cancer when she was a young girl.

"You lay in bed at night when you have this kind of history and you're so use to breast cancer, you just know it could happen any day,” she said.

When her mom passed away at the age of 53, Kosma had a three-month-old son and her husband was deployed to Afghanistan.

Due to her family history, Katie knew she had a decision to make. After going to a genetic counselor she decided to take action to end the family cycle.

Just over a week ago, at the age of 27, Kosma chose to have a prophylactic mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer to five percent.

"Immediately after having the surgery it was like the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. This was my second chance at life,” she said.

Kosma said her husband has been her rock and took off a month in the military just to be by her side while she recovers.

She said with a three-year-old son and a one-year old daughter, she knew she couldn't risk not being there for them.

"I can look into their eyes and know that I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m alive for them, because that's what matters to me, my kids get their mom longer than I had my mom," she said.

When she's between 35-40-years-old, she'll have to also have her ovaries removed to eliminate the chance of getting ovarian cancer.

She says her goal is to educate women all around the world about the choice she made and the options that are out there to beat the odds. Kosma created a blog and a facebook page that tells her story and serves as a support group for women.

"My page, my journey, I put it out there because they're people who don't know about this option, and if i can save just one person. If I can help just one person than I did what I intended to do," said Kosma.