My husband, Jim, and I just took one of the common, mail-in,
genealogy DNA tests to learn more about our family backgrounds. In addition to
learning I’m 25% Italian and 0.5% Native American, I learned I am a carrier of
Cystic Fibrosis (CF). I always knew this was a possibility, but I had never
been tested for the Cystic Fibrosis trait. Even when Jim and I decided to have
a child almost 30 years ago, neither of us got tested. Why not? There is no
reason. We just didn’t. I guess we knew the risk was higher than normal since
my older brother, Roger, died from CF when I was a baby. Yet, still, we did not
When I think about things now, we were playing Russian
Roulette! We knew that both parents had to carry the gene, just like my parents
did. This meant the chances of me having it were even greater than the average
person. We knew no one in Jim’s family had CF (at least that we knew of), so I
guess we thought his chances were slim of carrying the gene. Still, why?
|My parents and Roger in Japan while stationed in the Navy. 1957|
|No matter how sick he got, Mom said Roger was always smiling.|
I was 4 months when Roger died and sadly don't remember him at all. All I have are photos and stories my parents have told me. Thus one of the reasons I scrapbook; to keep memories of Roger alive!
I guess it all came down to the fact that we wanted children and would knowing one way or the other if we were both carriers make us decide to not have a family? Simply, no. Every pregnancy has it’s risks, whether it’s a miscarriage, Down’s syndrome, etc. When it comes to having a child, sometimes the love involved far outweighs the risks. Ask any parent who has had a child with CF, or any other genetic risk-related condition, and they will most likely tell you the same thing. Love is what is important…love is what gets you through the adversities.
---contributed by Jill Worley