Genetic test helps local woman fight cancer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- If you follow U.T.'s Swim Team, chances are you recognize Head Coach Matt Kredich. But as his swimmers train to beat their competition, his wife Kim is home facing an entirely different battle and a scientific breakthrough that's helping her fight.

If nothing has ever spoken to you, the way Brahms Intermezzo speaks to Kim Kredich, then the world must be a very silent place. Because every note she hits, even if it's the wrong one, is absolutely beautiful.

Kim said, "It's just so gorgeous I just feel like Brahms brings his soul out in this one."

There is no question that music is in her blood, but so it seems, is something else.

"It was a complete shock and it was only because I insisted on the ultra sound that we found it," Kim said.

No larger than the size of a pea, the diagnoses sent Kim straight to surgery and back to the bench of her piano.

Kim said, "I figured while i had cancer i needed to do it justice so that's what I've been busy trying to do... I took out that Brahms intermezzo that I love. I hope to get this piece mastered by the end of chemo."

But Kim's story doesn't end here. It's only just the beginning. The cancer? It's in her blood. Both of her grandmothers died of ovarian cancer.

So Kim headed to U.T. Medical Center looking for answers. Certified Genetic Counselor Amanda Noyes offered a test that can identify up to 16 genes associated with cancer. That includes the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes made famous by Angelina Jolie. Kim's samples were submitted to the lab, and now she's waiting for the results.

Amanda Noyes said, "If she has a mutation that explains why she had breast cancer at age 46 and a lot of people want to know why you develop breast cancer at such a young age and it would explain that. But it would also mean testing for family members and there's that risk that her children would have the mutation as well."

If the test shows Kim's children are at risk, having that information could help them prevent disease, and it could help Kim prevent another run in with cancer herself.

But until those test results come back, Kim will focus on chemo, and her other battle.

Kim said, "I sat down and I thought ooh this is going to be a little hard and those first chords came out and I thought yes this is what I can do."

Because no matter what is coursing through her veins, music will always be in her blood.

Kim said, "It just shows you what life is about. What's life worth living for? Well I'd say this Brahms Intermezzo is worth living for."

The results of Kim's genetic tests came back after Local 8 News shot the story, and they're negative. That means not a single one of those 16 genes that were tested, show risk of cancer for Kim or her three boys.

There's another component to this story. Many have asked whether insurance companies can deny you coverage based on genetic mutations. The answer is no. A federal law called "GINA" was passed in 2008 and makes it illegal for employers or health insurance providers to fire you or deny coverage based on your genetic makeup.

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