Mercies in Disguise – A Story of Hope a Family’s Genetic Destiny and the Science That Rescued Them PDF
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The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most begged her not to be tested—at least not now. “Please,” her mother pleaded. “Your dad is so sick. We are hurting so much already.” Her boyfriend implored her not to invite news that could cast such a long and dark shadow over their future. “You don’t know what it will do to you,” he warned.
But she had always been so stubborn, so sure of what she wanted, so able to push past trepidation. And she was driven by the impossible expectations of what this day would bring; she had to know her future in order to control it. If she had the mutated gene—a forecast of a horrifying and fatal illness, one without treatment or cure, passed down in her family from generation to generation—she vowed it would stop with her.
So today, with her mother and boyfriend beside her for support, Amanda sits across from her therapist—a man she first saw when she was in college, when her troubles with her boyfriend seemed overwhelming. Now, at twenty-six years old, she is facing a dilemma that seems to reach beyond her young adulthood, into the ageless realm of the surreal. Which life will it be? The one in which the years stretch outward boundlessly or the one where the future twists into a discernible, ghastly shape? Amanda glances around the room. The office is as it ever was: cozy with a fireplace across from a love seat and a couple of chairs. She has been here many times before, but now it is another world.
A gamine with huge brown eyes and short, glossy brown hair, Amanda vibrates with energy. And though she isn’t able to bring it to bear at this particular moment, she is an optimist, always reaching instinctively for promise. She’s a hugger and a weeper, someone who does not hide her emotions. Today, she is still glowing from a recent trip to Africa, where she was able to forget herself a little while helping people who had so much less than she. At times, she was even able to forget this day, persuade herself it was not coming, this moment that will inextricably change her life.
Amanda’s fate resides in the result of a blood test. It will reveal whether she possesses a single mutated gene, one that has contorted the fates of so many of her family members. The results are with a doctor in California, who’d ordered the test. In a few minutes the phone will ring and that doctor, on the other side of the country, will open the envelope and tell her, over speakerphone, the fateful news.
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