By summer 2021, Gilbert Milam Jr. was living a good life. A nationally renowned rapper who performs under the name Berner, Milam was also enjoying the global expansion of Cookies, a brand of cannabis products and clothing that he co-founded and was running as CEO.
But Milam was haunted by a family history of cancer, including his mother’s death from stomach cancer at 54. So, at age 37, he told his physician in San Francisco that he wanted to take every precaution against being diagnosed too late to live a full life. As it happened, his doctor said there was a new test to try.