Reflections on Jeans for Genes Day

Genes are a funny thing…
Last weekend, I was sitting beside my dad’s bed in his nursing home, ordering some things from M&S for him on his laptop. (Even when you’re dying, you’ve still got to keep up your standards and shop at M&S!) After a couple of minutes I realised he was closely scrutinising me and he said to me “you look so like your brothers”. Then he paused and said “I’ve left my mark on you all”. He seemed very pleased with that, and for someone who will shortly be leaving this world, I think it brought him great comfort that he will be leaving the three of us behind looking so like him.

I looked around his room and saw all the books that my brothers and I have left for him to read – reading being one of the final great pleasures he can still enjoy. I realised that myself and my brothers have the same taste in books. Not learnt behaviour, as we haven’t spent enough time together as adults to have learnt each others reading habits. But somehow, somewhere we had inherited our love of books – in particular history – from our father.

Can strange things such as a love of history be passed on through our genes?

Genes are a terrible thing…
This week my little grandson was hospitalised because of his genes. His poor mummy and daddy have really gone through the mill with seeing their precious young baby poked, prodded, had a feeding tube inserted and put on a drip, along with endless consultations between the fantastic staff at Addenbrookes and Great Ormond Street. All because of a common childhold illness coupled with his genes makes a deadly combination.

One day genetic disorders such as my grandson’s MCADD (or to give it its full name Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency) will be eradicated or solved with a daily tablet. Until that day comes, my precious grandchild – my daughter’s and son-in-law’s precious first born – faces being hospitalised with every single common or garden childhood illness. And my brave courageous daughter with her equally wonderful husband face the trauma of repeated visits to Addenbrookes and Great Ormond Street with their darling son.

Please support and give generously to Jeans for Genes Day who raise millions of pounds every single year for research into genetic disorders.

Thank you


© Essex Voices Past 2015

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4 Responses to Reflections on Jeans for Genes Day

  1. I suspect that those who psychoanalyse these types of things would say, but does anyone really know? There is also coincidences, but perhaps things are passed on a way that can not be quantified.

    Sorry to hear your Grandson is poorly, quite a worry for your daughter and son in law. Wishing the little chap better!


    • The Narrator says:

      I think a psychoanalyst would have a field day with my family – probably enough to write their own book on us. But yes, some of the “coincidences” is a combination of very early learnt behaviour, but also with some strong genetics thrown in too.

      My grandson is doing well, thank you – was discharged from Addenbrookes this morning. But there’s now the dawning realisation with us all that this is serious, MCADD is here to stay, and every single childhood illness could mean hospital.

      • I am glad to hear the little chap is now home. I firmly recommend that you read and research as much as possible about the condition and question, question, question the medics every step of the way.

        • The Narrator says:

          Thank you Julie. Fortunately, as it’s such a rare (but potentially life-threatening) condition, the medical attention is absolutely 2nd to none. It does show the NHS at its absolute best.

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