What I wish I had known in my twenties…
I have seen articles like this before scattered through magazines. Usually the writer expresses the wish that they had been more body confident in their twenties, or happier with who they were, more self-confident or not concerned with what people say.
What I wish I had known in my twenties is so simple, it could have been achieved in five minutes.
I wish I had known how to give my child a healthy life. I wish I had known to have genetic carrier screening. A simple mouth swab that could have helped us have a healthy child. I wish someone had told me about it.
It would have saved our family and our beautiful daughter so much pain. A simple mouth swab could have shown us that together my husband’s and my DNA had a chance of having a child affected with a terminal genetic condition.
Instead we unknowingly passed on to our hidden genetic flaws to our daughter Mackenzie causing her to pass away at 7 months of age.
What happened to us happens to others every single day in this world. In fact 1 in 20 children are born with a genetic condition or a birth defect. We are not special or unique.
Every single one of us carries genetic faults in our DNA, three to five on average, that we can pass on to our children. Whether we pass it on to our child simply depends on who we have children with. Simply luck of the draw.
But by having genetic carrier testing you can find out what you carry and whether you and your partner are at risk of having an affected child. If you are at risk there are options.
Genetics are life changing. They affect us every day in beautiful ways but genetics can also cause pain. We have the information and the tools at hand, now we just need to be made aware of it.
A simple mouth swab.
Choice, knowledge, power.