Putting Your Family First

January 14, 2015
A warm hello and welcome to our new JScreen blog!
First, I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Co-Director of JScreen and oversee national outreach initiatives for the program. I am an instructor and mentor for the Masters in Genetic Counseling Program at Emory University. I am involved in the Jewish community. But most importantly, I am a mom and have an extended family whose health and happiness mean the world to me. I think that’s true of most people – we all worry about our family’s well-being. We all wonder what we can do to make sure our children are as healthy as possible. Working in genetics, I knew there were ways people could plan ahead to protect their families’ health, and I knew we could make it easy for people to take action ahead of time to get the peace of mind they deserve. That was our vision when we launched the JScreen program over a year ago.  And I’m so proud to be a part of it.
Here’s what you need to know about your risks:
Fact: 1 in 4 Jews is a carrier for a genetic condition that has potential to cause life-threatening disease intheir children. Carriers are healthy and do have symptoms of the disease.
Fact: When both parents carry the same disease gene, each of their children is at 25% risk.
Fact: The vast majority of the time, no one in these carriers’ families has actually had that disease, so testing is important for everyone.
Fact: These diseases are preventable through early genetic screening and learning about the many options available to help carrier couples have healthy children.
What is JScreen?
JScreen is a genetic testing program that lets you and/or your partner know if you are carriers. Whether you’re single, dating or married, it’s never too early to get screened. The process is so simple: head over to our registration page, enter your information to request a kit, receive your kit in the mail, and ship your saliva sample back to our state-of-the-art testing lab. Then you’ll receive your confidential screening results from certified genetic counselors that will help you understand what they mean for you and your family. It’s easy. It’s affordable. It’s highly accurate. And it’s available 24/7.
What should you do?
Do what I do. Put your family first. The #1 thing you can do to protect your family is to get screened and know your options. You deserve the peace of mind a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby brings.
At JScreen, we know that your family is the most important decision of your life. Make it wisely. Get screened!

Karen is a Senior Director at JScreen and oversees national outreach initiatives for the program. Her goal is to improve access to genetic screening and help people plan ahead for the health of their future families. Karen is also an Instructor in Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Human Genetics where she teaches and mentors students in the Masters in Genetic Counseling program.