I guess technically the hospital held it, but I was the centerpiece. It was an incredibly bizarre and humbling experience that I am still feeling the adrenaline from. The day started with a phone interview with WJR radio. I think my favorite part was when I was asked if I was concerned that having this surgery would affect my dating life. I didn’t mean it to sound sassy, but it did, all I said was “Nope.”
Then the real party started. And by party, I mean media circus. 4 local TV news stations (WDIV, WXYZ, FOX 2 News, and TV20 Detroit), a few newspapers, and a book author all sat there and watched the hospital PR team make my introduction. At that point I was no longer nervous, I think the fact that I was sitting between both of my doctors helped. After my introduction I just explained my situation and why I had chosen to have this surgery. I didn’t really write it out beforehand either, just spoke from the heart, and my nerves dissolved immediately when I finished that little speech and there was an audible “Wow” from Paula Tutman, WDIV’s reporter.
I felt completely comfortable despite the dozens of cameras pointed directly at my face. I even cracked a few jokes. When asked how I was preparing for surgery, I answered, “Eating a lot of taco bell” (what can I say, those 7 layer burritos are delicious).
Once the actual conference was over I spoke with individual reporters and my dad got mic’d up (sorry dad!) for them to ask him a few questions. The whole thing went better than I could have ever expected.
Of course, I knew the hard part for me was going to be staying away from the ‘comments’ section on the station’s websites and facebook pages. But, I still caught a glimpse of the negative things people were saying-
“That’s one way to get a free boob job” (read this awesome article)
“My mom had colon cancer..am I supposed to remove my colon?”
“Idk. Isn’t [this] the same as [having] your brain removed because you may someday develop brain cancer?”
UGH! I’m not insulted by these statements, just frustrated. I am trying my best to educate the world on what this gene is and what it can do, but some people refuse to learn. Ah, well. This surgery will save my life. That’s all that matters.