8 Family Members Remove Stomachs Due to Cancerous Gene

Updated: 07/16/2013 7:43 AM KSTP.com By: Todd Wilson

Where Jean Jones works, it's always Christmas. But the last season of gifts and greetings for her was filled with misfortune. Jeans brother Tom died.

"He went into hospice right after Thanksgiving and that Saturday, he went in Tuesday and that Saturday he passed away," Jones said.

We spoke with Tom Torborg in November of last year. Tom was losing his battle with cancer.

"I think there's a better place coming," Tom said.

Through her brother's death, the rest of Jones' family learned that a CDH1 mutation made them 80 percent more likely to develop stomach cancer. Eight people, including her, have made the risky decision to have their entire stomachs removed.
By removing it, she no longer knows when she's hungry. Now she's forced to bring snacks and watch the clock.

"The reason I know I'm hungry if I get busy and stop watching the clock, like my blood sugars will drop and I'll feel funny and my speech will slur," Jones said.

The bad luck has continued. Three more family members have tested positive for the CDH1 mutation. Jean says that as a family they have taken their fair share of lumps.

"Every morning I'm just blessed that I'm here that I can be with my kids, my husband and spread the word to help other people," Jones said.

Jean says by spreading the word about the CDH1 mutation she can do what her brother Tom did -- save lives.