L’Chaim: To Life!

March 16, 2015

by Rachel Cohen


L’chaim. A phrase recognized by Jews all around the world. From the front of a Bar or Bat Mitzvah card, to the end of a best man’s speech at a wedding, L’chaim, or “to life” is an expression used for celebrations. In Judaism, the number 18 symbolizes life or Chai, and this is our inspiration for monthly installments celebrating the lives of those who are part of the Jscreen family. Jscreen helps to make lives healthier and families stronger. Through the sharing of knowledge, JScreen gives families more reasons to celebrate life.

One such family recently found themselves at the beginning stages of planning their first child. The mom-to-be’s sister lives in Israel, where genetic testing is relatively common. Her sister tested positive as a carrier for a recessive genetic disorder, so mom-to-be opted to follow her sister’s lead and requested a kit from JScreen. The affordable nature of genetic screening with JScreen allowed her to gather a significant amount of vital information at a relatively low cost.

Mom-to-be sent her saliva sample in to Jscreen, and awaited her results. When they arrived about four weeks later, she discovered that she is in fact a carrier of the same genetic disorder as her sister. Emboldened by this information, she and her partner decided that it was time for him to be tested as well. Information is power, and knowing each partner’s before having a child ensures that you are doing all that you can to guard the health of your future family. Dad-to-be was also a carrier for a recessive disorder, but thankfully not the same one as mom-to-be. The future parents breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that they could now extend their family as planned with the reassurance that they were not at increased risk for passing on a genetic disease to their baby.

The results that they received from Jscreen helped them plan for their pregnancy. Both partners were grateful for Jscreen’s easy process, and that they did not have to take any further measures, such as prenatal testing. The pair has recommended JScreen to their Jewish friends who are planning their families. We are thrilled to hear that they are expecting their first child in just a few weeks. L’Chaim!


Headquartered in Atlanta at Emory University’s Department of Human Genetics, JScreen is a national non-profit offering at-home comprehensive and affordable genetic testing and counseling.

ReproGEN – determines risk for having a child with a genetic disease

CancerGEN – tests for genetic changes that increase risk for many types of cancer

If a person or couples’ risk is elevated, genetic counselors will privately address the results, options and resources to help plan for a healthy future.

JScreen believes that a combination of education, access to state-of-the-art testing technology, and personalized support by qualified medical professionals are key to preventing devastating genetic diseases.