My name is Sim and I am a member of the Geneyouin team. I support the initiative of gaining knowledge of personal genetics to optimize medication type and dosage, ultimately improving the standard of health care delivered uniquely to a patient.
I am going to time travel back into my childhood to a moment that will explain my support for increasing awareness for this technology. Buckle up!
15 years ago, month February …
I made my way closer to the hospital bed my mother was lying in. My stomach dropped for what my eyes saw at the time made it difficult for me to return her smile.
She was there for a simple surgical procedure, just removing some gallstones that had been troubling her. Then why was her body red, her face swollen or her lips blistered?
Mothers’ are strong, no matter what circumstance lie in their way, they pull on their inner strength and manage to push through the most challenging of times. She was smiling at me, even though I knew she was in pain, she held her hand out.
What had happened? I found out that she had been given medication that caused a severe adverse effect in her system leading to liver cirrhosis, a chronic condition amongst swelling, blistering and redness.
Through this hospital visit another diagnosis was made, she had lupus – an autoimmune disease which extended her stay for weeks and the years following made visits like this routine.
At that time her family physician had entered his own battle against cancer – rest his soul he was a brilliant man. A search for a new physician began. It came as a surprise when she got turned down by some physicians due to liability issues raised from the adverse reaction she experienced earlier. They were afraid to prescribe her medication as she put it and she didn’t blame them. What stood in the way of a confident prescription were unknown variables, uncertainty and fear of letting down a patient, which current genetic testing can help reduce. In the end a new clinic opened and they accepted my mother as a patient concluding her unexpectedly lengthy search.
Having comorbidities require you to manage many appointments and estimated wait times in your schedule. Through her recovery, what astonished physicians and specialists was her mental strength. Limitations were given to her such as not being able to go to work or drive. Step by step she began to busy herself around the house, soon after began driving and then off to work again.
Time travel back to present day…
She is still working and going to her appointments and cooking great food, trying to work on her cardiovascular health – not the gym type.
I learn something from this amazing woman every day, and she showed me that with the right attitude you can make the best of any situation.
That is the main reason why I advocate implementation of this technology. With added knowledge on how your body responds to an introduction of foreign chemistries can profoundly decrease the chances adverse side effects and in commonly used meds completely avoid them. How? Through identifying biomarkers in your genome and comparing them to reference biomarkers for many medications adverse side effects can be avoided, optimal dosages for medication can be known and hereditary disease risks can be statistically predicted.
If a genetic test was used my mom could have been home with me rather than being constrained to a semi-private room. But she doesn’t live in the world of could haves, it happened, let’s make the future better and optimize current treatments. She took the test and now any medication prescribed present on the database will be ran against her specific genome and red flags will pop up if it is incompatible before she begins a cycle.