Travel blogger Lesley Murphy made her reality show debut in 2013 as one of the contestants on ABC's hit series “The Bachelor.”
Murphy and a dozen or so other women competed for the affection of the handsome hunk, Sean Lowe.
Ultimately, she didn't score her dream guy's heart.
But the Arkansas native used the experience to help launch her social media blog, “The Road Les Traveled,” and soon enough, the followers were pouring in.
She now runs a successful website and has over 200,000 Instagram followers who can't wait to see which scenic country she'll travel to next.
But nearly four years after she started the successful blog, Murphy announced to her fans that she had tested positive for the potentially deadly BRCA2 gene.
She decided to get tested for the gene, which leaves her at “high risk for breast and ovarian cancer one day,” because her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.
According to Cancer.gov, the gene leaves women with a 45 percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70 and an 11-17 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer.
The disheartening test results left the 29-year-old with some tough choices. She wrote:
“I'm left with a few options and have decided that preventative surgery is what I want over various screenings multiple times a year. A double mastectomy at 2freaking9. Wtf?! Yep, it's happening.”
Murphy ultimately made the difficult decision to undergo a double mastectomy, a procedure to remove both breasts.
The reality star went in for surgery last week and is now taking fans along on the tough journey with her. On her Instagram, she wrote:
“My mom took this photo when I first arrived to my hospital room after surgery. It was hard to breathe. My chest was super tight and still is.”
With the help of her mother and her endlessly supportive fans, Murphy is now recovering from the invasive surgery. And thanks to her skilled surgeons, said she was able to keep some of her breasts. She wrote:
“I feel lucky because my surgeons only made one vertical incision on the lower half of both breasts while saving skin & nipple. So while all breast tissue is (hopefully) gone, I retained some of the old me!”
Following the operation, Murphy bravely posted this photo showing the results:
Her challenging decision seems to have struck a chord with fans, many of whom have had their own struggles with the harmful gene.
Some wrote on Instagram:
Murphy still has a long road to recovery ahead of her, but she said the support of her fans is helping her get through this difficult time.