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Genetic Fortune Telling: Are You a Fan?

You could be a pin prick away from knowing if you have a debilitating disease, one that can change or end your life, are you signing up for the test?

montagecomms, flickr

It’s a big question and many just like to look away. I saw an incredible story and video about a young woman with a 50% chance of being afflicted by Huntington’s disease, the same disease that took her mother from her last year. She has known since shortly after her mother’s diagnosis that she would be tested, her two brothers are not so sure they would want to know.

I wasn’t raised with my father’s family as he died when I was an infant. So I am not sure what aliments might be associated with that side of my bloodline. This alone could make me decide to be genetically tested. My four children are even more reasons that would give me cause to be tested. My husband, my life, my dreams all also good reasons. I think it is obvious where I stand on the question, I would be tested. Some think that by knowing, you may live a more sheltered life. I believe if I knew that I had 20 years verses 40 years, I might make different decisions with my day to day life. I, personally and controversially, already have enough regrets, I wouldn’t want to waste any time if that time were more limited than I originally thought.

If you want to now play the devils advocate, you could remind me that genetics are not the only thing that could change my day to day life or the length of it. I understand that there is an element of surprise with this life, car accidents… fires… natural disasters… and more. But if I had the chance to know that there wouldn’t be a next summer, I might eat chips and cliff dive this summer. If I knew there wouldn’t be another Christmas with my family, I would spend the extra money and buy us all tickets to Disney World. If I knew that there wouldn’t be a chance to remodel my bathroom, I’d take a bath in the tub I don’t like and fill it with Lavender suds! Instead of thinking that I have endless time and potentially miss out on something that I really would enjoy, I would want to know. With that said, I do talk to my children everyday. I do tell them and my husband that I love them. I do tell my friends as often as I can that I appreciate them and I do sneak in some “unauthorized” carbohydrates from time to time, more perhaps than I should.

So scroll down and tell me what you think in the comment section… tell me if you would want to know, why you would or wouldn’t, what you would do differently-if anything and your greatest fears in knowing or not knowing.

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