Ami McKay

Ami McKay

How did I get here?

In 2001 I underwent genetic testing to determine if I was positive for Lynch Syndrome. I recorded my journey – from making the decision to get tested to the first few months after getting the results – in a radio documentary for the CBC titled Daughter of Family G. Since then, my life has changed in ways I could never have imagined.

What is Lynch Syndrome?

from Lynch syndrome (HNPCC or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer ) is an autosomal dominant genetic condition that has a high risk of colon cancer as well as other cancers including endometrium, ovary, stomach, small intestime, hepatopbiliary tract, upper urinary tract, brain and skin. The increased risk for these cancers is due to inherited mutations that impair DNA mismatch repair. It is a type of cancer syndrome.

from Mayo clinic.comLynch syndrome is an inherited condition that increases your risk of colon cancer and other cancers. Lynch syndrome has historically been known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). A number of inherited syndromes can increase your risk of colon cancer, but Lynch syndrome is the most common. Doctors estimate that about 3 out of every 100 colon cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome. Families that have Lynch syndrome usually have more cases of colon cancer than would typically be expected. Lynch syndrome also causes colon cancer to occur at an earlier age than it might in the general population.

Are you Ami McKay, author of The Birth House?

Yes, that’s me. While I spend much of my time researching and writing historical fiction, I’ve also spent a good part of the last twelve years pestering doctors and medical researchers for information about Lynch Syndrome as well as visiting many doctor’s offices for various screenings and consultations. Annual once overs by a dermatologist, check. Transvaginal ultrasounds, check. Edometrial biopsies, CA 125 blood tests, annual colonoscopies, check., check and check. (Trust me, when it comes to colonoscopies, the prep really is worse than the scope!)

Why Mutant Me?

Thanks to the efforts of countless individuals, awareness has been raised around the BRCA mutations which predispose carriers to certain types of breast and ovarian cancers. Far fewer people know about Lynch Syndrome and the importance of genetic testing in families who carry the genes associated with it. I want to help change that.

Long story short, knowledge saves lives.

Let’s get this party started.

My first blog post includes a 19th century seamstress, a premonition, and me. (As well as a link to the radio documentary Daughter of Family G.) Daughter of Family G


Ami McKay’s debut novel, The Birth House was a # 1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and a book club favourite around the world. Her second novel. The Virgin Cure, is inspired by the life of her great- great grandmother, Dr. Sarah Fonda Mackintosh, a female physician in nineteenth century New York. Born and raised in Indiana, Ami now lives in Nova Scotia.

If you’re looking for information about my published work, please visit

To contact me use, ami’s email.


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