Watch Decoding Annie Parker
- 1 hr 31 min
Tween Annie Parker has lived a picturesque life until one autumn in 1976 when she hears her mother fatally collapse. Elsewhere, geneticist Mary-Claire King has been researching the genetic cause of breast cancer; her research has already quantified the gene variation between humans and chimps. However, her theories on breast cancer are less-commonly acknowledged. Perspective jumps back to Annie at 19, who has now lost her father, married, and pregnant. While Annie's older sister has tried to help Annie, she contracts the same cancer as her mother and passes away months later. Annie also develops severe breast cancer and undergoes chemotherapy. In addition to losing her hair, her husband cheats with her best friend and leaves prior to the diagnosis of Annie's second cancer. Despite numerous setbacks, Annie's resolve strengthens with the passing of each and every one of her personal tragedies. During Annie's battle, King has researched a hereditary origin for breast and ovarian cancers by collecting DNA from families with a high occurrence of breast cancer. This research eventually pays off in 1990, when she links chromosome-17 to an inherited flaw that she calls BCRA1. King winds up on Time's cover, while Annie emerges triumphant after contracting a third cancer.