There’s a lot to check off the to-do list for your wedding, and getting genetic testing should be a priority! Our own newly married Social Media Manager and husband went through the process when they were engaged. That’s why we’re so happy we got to speak with Hillary Kener, the Assistant Director of National Outreach, about all things Jscreen. October is also National Gaucher Foundation Awareness Month, just one of the many diseases Jscreen screens for.
From its humble grassroots beginnings in Atlanta, it has grown over the past three years screening thousands a year. Kener’s own background is in business and health so to bring those two passions together has been very rewarding, especially when people send in pictures of healthy babies that Jscreen has helped bring into the world. Before Jscreen, many people were not aware of Jewish genetic diseases or wouldn’t have financial mean to access screening, which can cost thousands of dollars and is often not covered by medical insurance.
One creative way to incorporate and spread the Jscreen love and importance is by telling your guests about the organization in your program or on your wedding website. It only costs $149 to get a kit so why not encourage people to be screened to ensure the health of their future children?
It can also make a great wedding gift – a JGift, from a parent, cousins aunt or uncle. They simply purchase it in your name you get a code which you give to the couple.
A few weeks later a genetic counselor will go over your results with you (and your partner if you want) and answer all of your questions. They also send you a detailed email with your results so when the time is right you can go back to your results and reconnect with your genetic counselor.
Kener says to make sure it’s a comprehensive panel from a credited medical professional and certificated genetic counselors. “You want to make sure it’s not someone random. It should be someone well versed and gives you your options for the best, most accurate testing.”
Detection rate is now higher than it has ever been due to new developments in genetic testing technologies. Since each disease has its own unique characteristics, the detection rate approaches 99% for most of the diseases on the JScreen panel.
Other organizations only test for limited screens and have been shut down in the past because they actually had no medical involvement. JScreen is based out of a university and medical background so you know you are getting the most informed and educated screening.
Anytime a couple is thinking about having a child or expanding their family, they should inquire about updates to the testing panel.
For more information or request a kit go to jscreen.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org and social media accounts.
To get more information about the National Gaucher Foundation click here to read more.