Kara DioGuardi credits Stacey Sager for saving her life after Cancer special

October 25, 2013 9:19:34 AM PDT
She's a hit song writer and former judge on American Idol and now Kara DioGuardi is crediting Eyewitness News for helping to save her life.

It is the first time we have gotten to meet in person, but I have watched Kara Dioguardi, a former American Idol judge. I just didn't know she happened to be watching me.

Back in 2011, Channel 7 was running my cancer special about how I survived breast and early stage ovarian cancer, and how genetic testing saved my life.

Kara just happened to be in New York City performing in the Broadway show "Chicago" and by chance, she caught my report.

"I saw you and I saw you in the hospital, and I saw pictures of your family. I thought to myself, this is very strange. I have to get this test," she said.

She said she never even heard of BRCA1 and BRCA2 before my story came on.

"I'd heard about genetic testing, but I didn't really know what that meant," she said.

In fact, advocates from the BRCA group called "FORCE" tell me that's the exact reason why we have to talk about it.

"It's very important, especially because 90 percent of people who have a genetic mutation don't know it," Laura Royse of Facing Our Risk Empowered (FORCE) said.

"Oh, it completely bothers me (to know I have this mutation). You know, this is why I came forward with a lot of this information," Kara said.

Kara's mom died of ovarian cancer at age 50. Her grandmother had breast cancer. Kara tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation. Chances of breast cancer in her lifetime are as high as 80 percent. Chances of ovarian cancer are nearly 30 percent.

Kara tells me she would never want her family to have to see her become sick, so she had a full hysterectomy to prevent ovarian cancer.

The upside? With but one embryo left from multiple fertility treatments, Kara found a surrogate and now has a beautiful baby boy.

"I am so lucky," she said.

Kara's surgery won't end here. She's planning a preventive bi-lateral mastectomy and feeling pretty good about the reconstruction.

"You know, if my ----, are gonna look better than they do now, I'm down. Let's go," Kara said.

The best part? Like me, Kara will spread the word because she knows first-hand, how much is at stake.

She says she probably would not have gotten tested if she had missed my story that day.

"I would've never gotten tested and probably would've kept doing more rounds of invitro, not have a surrogate. I don't even know if I'd have a child," she said. "I think it absolutely changed the course of my life."