A generous gift from Redstone Federal Credit Union will allow HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s unique breast and ovarian cancer genetic screening initiative Information is Power to expand its reach to include women and men in a wider geographic area. Phase 2 of the initiative kicks off October 29 and will continue through October 28, 2017.

The announcement was made at the annual Tie the Ribbons luncheon, which supports breast and ovarian cancer research at HudsonAlpha.

The initiative provides free genetic cancer risk testing to 30-year old women and men in Madison, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and Jackson counties. The test, developed by Kailos Genetics, looks at more than two dozen genes affiliated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as other cancers including colorectal and prostate.

“This type of testing is traditionally done in a context where a person has a family history of cancer, and this initiative makes testing available to people in the community regardless of family history,” said Kimberly Strong, PhD, HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and director of the Ethics and Genomics Program. Now with Redstone’s support, we are able to offer free testing to 30-year old women and men in the surrounding counties as well.”

Redstone Federal Credit Union said sponsoring the initiative was important to them because of the positive impact that it will have on the community.

“We understand the importance of being knowledgeable about your health and risks to your health,” said Joseph Newberry, President and CEO of RFCU. “We also understand that for many in our community, access to such information can be challenging. This is Redstone Federal Credit Union’s way of helping to build a healthy and strong community and we are happy to do it.’’

Kailos said offering free testing to residents in five counties is one step closer to achieving their goal of population-wide genetic testing, which would allow everyone to have access to information about their genes.

“Our mission is to give people insight into their genetic data to help them make smarter, more informed decisions for their health,” said Troy Moore, chief scientific officer of Kailos Genetics. “Now that we’ve started to see the life changing impacts of the Information is Power initiative, we are excited to give even more people access to these benefits.”

If you are 19 or older and reside in the five counties included in the initiative, Kailos is offering the test at a reduced cost of $129.

To learn more and sign up to receive the test, visit www.hudsonalpha.org/information-is-power.  

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