KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Ten years ago, scientists successfully mapped the human genome. Now, genetic counselors can tell you if you're predisposed to diseases like breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, and Alzheimer's Disease.
One of them works not far from us and helped a local family navigate through a journey they never saw coming.
The Rader's are a quintessential American family.
Hannah is 16, Jackson is 14, Annie is 10 and Amelia is 3.
All them were planned, all of perfectly healthy and all of them home schooled under their mother, Amanda.
But what they never saw coming, was Molly, baby number five.
"This was never on our radar I had four healthy pregnancies four healthy children four "normal" kids," Amanda Rader told us.
An ultrasound revealed something was different about baby number five and Amanda needed to know what.
An Amniocentesis was too invasive, too risky so Amanda opted for a new test called "maternity21".
"It was an answer to prayer. All it was was a blood draw and we knew everything we needed to know right then and there."
What her family learned was scary. But a woman named Kristin Frazer softened the blow.
She's one of only 3,000 genetic counselors in the entire country and she works at UT Medical Center and her job is far from easy.
"My catch phrase is I'm going to prepare you for the worst and hope and pray with you for the best," Frazer told us.
And as Amanda learned, she was carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome and congestive heart failure.
"It's hard to hear that this child you're carrying isn't gonig to be perfectly healthy," Amanda remembered. "But Kristin came along side us and we had a partner, an incredibly knowledgeable partner and it made all the difference in the world."
But every step of the way, Kristin was there using the genetic information from that new test, "maternity21."
And it was all to help Amanda and her husband plan for Molly's birth in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, her open heart surgery at Vanderbilt, and ultimately her life outside the hospital.
"My children are better people and we are a better family for having gone through what we've been through with Molly."
The Raders are not the definition of the word perfect. Instead, they're a family defining the word for themselves
"Everybody's normal is going to look different, our normal is a little crazy but our normal is wonderful, yes."
The "Daily Galaxy" predicts genetic counseling will be one of the top ten jobs of the future-, especially as companies like "23 and me" offer mail-in testing kits that promise to reveal what you might be at risk for.
you'll find a link to that site below.
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