April 5, 2011
Bridal and Baby Showers are almost always lovely — some more extravagant than others. I was recently at The Milton Inn in Sparks, Maryland for my cousin Jill’s wedding shower. And until then, I can’t remember the last time I have taken a full afternoon to just lunch with the ladies.
No silly games, no embarrassing stories for Jill. Just fellowship…for her (as she made her way among the tables to visit with everyone) ..and for us.. (of course I lost track of how much coffee I sipped).
With a big family like the one from which my mom and Jill’s dad originate (12 siblings), family functions are lively and meaningful. But twice a year gatherings are not enough. Bring on more weddings! More baby showers! I could get used to “Lunching with the Aunties” on a regular basis.
September 6, 2009
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about jeans….and genes… Jeans because we are on the verge of Fall and I realized 1) I really need to shed about 20 pounds to rightfully wear my Levis skinny jeans in public, and 2) my SevenforAllMankind Good Butt Jeans are the only pair I have… I am rightfully due for a shopping spree.
However, the more important genes on my mind recently have been those that I’ve inherited. My mother’s brush (still going on) with Cancer and my Grandma Good’s suffering from Alzheimer’s has brought a few realities of genetics (and dare I say, mortality) very close to home.
There may be a discoverable genetic predisposition to cancer on the Siegrist side of the House. As Mom’s doctors close in on a diagnosis after the last (non Ovarian cancer) weeks of uncertainty, we can take the next steps for her health. We’ll then look at the potential benefits we could find (as a family) in genetic counseling. As part of that, I want my Dad, my brother and me to explore the chances that each of us is in line for Alzheimers. The emerging research here gives us reason for hope….
It’s only due to the incredible work taking place in genomics today that we’re now getting closer to a place of actually knowing — and in my mind better preparing for — what may lie ahead for each of us…. The work of the incredible Francis Collins, who led NIH’s Human Genome mapping effort (and now runs the show at NIH)… has led to the birth of pioneering efforts like 23andme. And just this week, Linda Avey, one of 23andMe’s founders, announced that she is leaving the organization to start the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. Linda lost a father in law to Alzheimers, a personal impact so close to home that she’s preparing to give all of her professional energy and expertise to the alleviation of this sad, heart-wrenching disease.
Though some genetic “gifts” (or in my deriere case “witholdings”) become clear much earlier in life, it is those yet undiscovered that are most fascinating… Linda, sign me up to for your trials.