Thursday, March 10, 2011

Legacy of Blindness.

One of the interesting aspects of the disease that affects Abby is that its a mitochondrial genetic disease. Its actually very easy to follow it in ones family.  Abby got the gene from me, I got it from my mother, my mother got it from her mother and so forth.  While males have a greater chance of becoming affected they can not pass it on to their children.  Females pass it on to a 100% of their children so that means that my son has the gene as does all my sister and their children.

I have been come very interested in tracing the path of LHON in my family.  Trying to track down other related people who could become affected and/or pass it on to their children.  I wish I had known.  I am thankful having a family history to go us to our diagnosis quickly.  It takes some people months to even years to get a diagnosis.
My Grandmother Ruth with her Guide Dog Anna
Many people who have the gene do not have a known family history of vision loss.  I did.  So little was known in my family about this that I didn't even connect the dots that it was something that should concern us.  Everyone thought the reason for my grandmother blindness was completely unrelated to the cause for two of her sons going blind in adulthood.

On June 26, 1957 my grandmother graduated from the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. A newspaper story from the time say she was the first graduate from NH.  I don't know if that was correct but  she was definitely one the earliest.  Its quite a thing when have a daughter who has become interested in guide dogs a lot recently.
a snippet from a a news story.
Guide Dog Foundation -

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Penny, thanks for hsaring, I learn more and more from you everyday! xoxo