Don’t Spit in the Wind. Spit in a tube!

wholekitRecently I have been writing about my experiences with getting my DNA test information from 23andMe.  They sent a test for me, Mother & Grandmother. Three generations of tube spit.

Truth be told it has been emotional and educational. I have learned more about my own genetics than I ever dreamed and it has also brought me closer to both my Mother and Grandmother (in unusual ways). There is something beautifully tangible about being able to log on to a network and see the genetic map of your family looking back at you. Even more valuable has been the community within 23andMe. Everyone there is just as curious about what makes them tick as I am. It is a whole new frontier.

The fantastic thing is that now ONE OF YOU will get to know what it is like to be a part of the 23andMe community. That’s right it’s a giveaway!! 23andMe is going to give a free DNA test to one of my readers. (That’s a $399 value that includes access to detailed information about your traits, family background and health predispositions.)

So here is how we are going to do it: Leave a comment answering the following question: How and why would winning DNA testing be significant for you?

I will do a random drawing to select the winner (via randomizer.org). The contest is open to legal residents of the USA, ages 18 or older and the winner is responsible for any applicable taxes.

For a complete list of rules go here: https://www.23andme.com/bloggergiveawayofficialrules/

Comments will close at midnight (EST), June 29th.  PLEASE make sure you double check your e-mail addy so I can contact you if you are the winner.

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68 thoughts on “Don’t Spit in the Wind. Spit in a tube!

  1. I’d love to know more of my genetic history so I know what I can do to be as healthy as possible and around for MANY years to come!

  2. My family tree doesn’t go very far because my grandfather was left on a doorstep on my mother’s side and my father’s parents were very secretive about our past. Knowing more about our genes would help me get past the frustration of not knowing WHO I came from.

  3. Well, this would be significant for me because I recently lost my father to cancer and cancer is not in our family history. My mother was adopted and is generally healthy but, again, we have no record of her history…so there’s a giant question mark there. As I grow older, and as I watch my son grow, I am learning more about myself and wondering whose traits I have acquired. I am very much like my father in many ways, but my mother and I share some obvious similarities. I would be very curious to see how it all matches up. Depending on how many people the test kit can include, I’d be curious to compare my brother and I as well.
    Further, we recently found out our donor has MS. I’ve been screened for it twice with negative results, but I wonder what combination he and I have passed down to Z…

  4. Can I enter for a family member? My grandfather was left by his birthmom on his parents doorstep when he was 3 months old. He doesn’t know anything about her but her name, and he has no information about his birthfather at all. We’ve tried searching online and piecing together stories and the little information we have, but it still hasn’t told us anything. A medical background would be incredible since he’s turning 80 and in relatively good health but Drs. have no idea what to look out for. It’s not as important, but we’re also very curious about race. His features/skintone is rather ambiguous and he has been asked before if he is biracial, and we really have no idea. It’d be wonderful to finally have answers.

  5. I am so interested in this because of two reasons – all the cancer that seems to be in my family and the fact that I have one grandfather who was unofficially adopted and I know nothing about my genetics from that part of the family. Interestingly my mom is going to have genetic testing for her cancer soon.

  6. As an adopted child, I grew up in a family where I never looked like anyone. My mother was Native American and my dad was Heinz 57 as he was adopted as well. I have 3 older brothers and not only do they look alike (and like our mother), their health follows a familial pattern. I’d like to have something that would be able to give me some idea of what could be in my own family tree.

  7. My grandfather left my grandmother when my Mom was 2 years old. I’ve always wondered about my Maternal Grandfather’s side of the family. I feel like a piece of my family is missing. I’ve been having a ton of health problems for the past two years and maybe by taking this test, I’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong with me!

  8. I’d love to try this out. I have some really weird auto-immune and allergy issues noone can figure out. My mom also has MS so there is lots i’d like to learn

  9. I think this project is so cool. . .I would love to win, so that I could have my husband do it. His father died of cancer at a young age, and because of that, I am terribly afraid that something will happen to him (and being PG has only magnified that feeling!). I would love to have him do the testing. Perhaps if they found genetic markers predisposing him to certain diseases, he could be convinced to clean up his act! (He swears he is as healthy as a horse, as he chomps a cigar and eats red meat ad infinitum).

  10. There are a number of questions marks in my history, which pales in comparison to that of my child but just adds to the complicated picture I’m offering my child by way of genetic inheritance.

    My mother’s father walked away after little more than donating genetic material. My paternal grandfather’s father left his mother and got a divorce in a time when such things just weren’t done. And those are just the immediates. My child, who is missing that father piece, is just one in a long line of family members.

    Maybe this way I can fill in a few of the blanks.

  11. As you know, Adam came from donated embryos. We know the history of the genetic mother and we are in contact with her, so there shouldn’t be any surprises on that end…but our knowledge of Adam’s genetic father(a sperm donor) is limited to one sentence…

    After waiting and trying for 8 years to be a Mommy and now having the anxiety that every mother has “what if something happens to my precious child?”, knowing the details of Adam’s genetic history & make up will ehlp Steve & I sleep a little better at night.

    Ever since I saw 23andme on Oprah, it has been on my mind! What a great give away!!

    P.S. Is it just me or is WW cuter every day? I just want to squeeze him!!!

  12. i honestly love to find out more about my grandmothers side. not much is known . she was adopted and we never knew her biological family. she passed away when i was a baby from breast cancer.

    so much is to be found out on family. i know about my dads family coming to America in 1900’s from Ireland. but much else nothing.
    its interesting to reconnect with your past and find out so much information especially since it could save your life on down the road and make you feel closer to your past loved ones. 🙂

  13. I’d want to know if there’s the dreaded ovarian cancer/other “fun” cancer genes running on around inside. Since both of my parents and sets of grandparents are all dead now I don’t have any one to ask about diseases that may run on my side of the family. I’d want to be informed so that I can make the right choices for my health and be around for as long as I can for my daughters.

  14. My grandmother remembers one thing about her father…..the first time she met him she was in a tree…..she never saw him again. She was five. She has long denied the fact that he was Native American and all the genetic history of her family died when she did. As a very secretive woman our family has no other genetic information about her other than her medical history. Which mine seems to mirror. It terrifies me that not only did I get peridontal disease like her, struggle with acne well into adulthood as she did, but have also had many of the same issues with my reproductive organs that we have records of her also having and the list goes on The only difference in my medical history from hers seems to be that everything she suffered from I suffered from 15 years earlier. It is terrifying to me that I could die from the same illness that killed her in a mere 10 years. Dying at 45 terrifies me. Dying of the same disease she and all 8 of her siblings died of scares me as well. But, what is worse is knowing that the same fate could befall my daughter. My medical history could also become hers. Will she also struggle to get pregnant like me? Will she have dental surgery at age 12? Will she inspect every mole on her body like an alien life form? Will she inherit my fate? Or that of her sperm donor? Where did that fate come from? Is it from her father? From the Native American father she met once? Is there something else from him that we don’t know of yet? Is that why we all have high cheek bones? …………..Or, does my appearance come from my Grandfather? The man I never met, who died before I was born? The man whose family walked away from my mother and uncles when they needed them the most. The man who gave my family they name they carry so proudly, but can’t attach to any genetic history? Will my daughter have his medical profile? A mix of both? When the Dr. asks me for a medical history or a reason why she has excema…..what do I tell her? I don’t know……..I’m not sure. Or maybe genetic testing will tell me why I hate tomatoes with a passion….when every member of my family that I have ever met eats them like they are the only food on the planet. It could tell me so many things……things that could impact my daughter in ways I may never understand…..and it could tell me if my Great Grandfather hated tomatoes too.

  15. Given that my great-grandmother has Alzheimer’s, my grandmother passed away from cancer, my brother from diabetes, and my grandfather from… we don’t even know what, to be able to find out the kind of genetic markers I have would be amazing.

  16. simply, we do not know about the genetic make up of our adopted children more than what the birth mothers put down on a form. SO I’d use it for them.

  17. My partner and I each gave birth to one of our daughters using the same (unknown) donor. Before we had children we were adamant that biology “didn’t matter” and only wanted to know the bare minimum about our donor (basically health info). As the girls have grown, well I’m not sure our politics about biology and family have changed, but we’re so *curious* to know more about the other half of the girls’ shared genes. It’s like a puzzle that connects them and it would be fascinating to unravel.

  18. I’ve always wanted to get this test, but money is tight! And now, if I won, I would give it to my brother-in-law who suffers mightily with Restless Leg Syndrome, a very painful disorder that keeps him up most nights unless he’s heavily medicated. It is terrible. Would really love to try to find out if any kind of genetic marker exists for this. Maybe this would help them find a cure! Who knows? This might just be the Godsend we’re looking for!

  19. I started reading your blog when I was in a time of despair, my fourth grandparent (between my husband and I) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I have seen what the disease can do and how it can rob a family of so much time. Reading your blog and seeing how life can go on, and you can make the most of the time you have has made all the difference. We are trying for a child now and knowing would help with the puzzle.

  20. I’d like to win because I am just SO fascinated by DNA and family history. Also, my family tends not to have children until late and then not a lot of children, so I don’t have many relatives left. That doesn’t lend itself to a lot of family history.

  21. I would love, love, love to win this. My grandmother died of uterine cancer. At least I think it was the uterus. Could be the ovaries, could be the cervix. I’d like to know if I have a possibility of getting it. My grandfather also died of cancer. Not sure which kind. My dad is not exactly a fountain of information. Also, my baby boy has ADHD and I’ve always wondered if I have some history or if I could just blame it all on my husband…lol…There’s just so much I would like to know! I hope I win. 🙂

  22. Although I always believed in the in nurture, nurture, nurture, having Baby S has made me realize that nature, even if I don’t want to admit it, plays a part, too.

  23. This is such an exciting giveaway. I would love to know what my genes have predisposed for me. My mom has a lot of health issues that make me wonder if my kids & I will inherit them or if it’s just due to her not taking care of herself. Obviously knowing what my DNA holds is important for the way my children lead their lives.

  24. I would love to know if there is anything else I could learn about why my baby was born stillborn maybe it has to do with genetics and if I ever have any other children whether there will be issues for them to watch out for.

  25. I was adopted and I have never meet my biological parents. I would love to know details about my ancestry as well as possible conditions I may see in my future.

  26. Genetic Testing would be very important to me becuase I am in desperate need to discover more about my husbands genetics before we move to having children. His family has several issues that seem to be repeating themselves and I am now wondering if these are genetic. Thank you for this opportunity!

  27. I’ve always seen my extended family ailments and wondered if I had gotten the short end of the genetic straw since I have some hereditary health issues at the age of 33. I’d like some good news for a change and would hope to see that in a DNA test.

  28. What a wonderful opportunity, thank you for sharing! I come from a very interesting background- I’m half Japanese, half watered-down Irish, and a Jew by choice. It’s unclear, but apparently several generations back, there may have been some Eastern European Jews on my mother’s side… I am curious to see if this is even possible to determine from a DNA test; perhaps mitochondrial DNA might be able to point to that more accurately? I also have diabetes and heart disease in my family, as well as some cancers; I’d like to know if these are real health risks. I’ve recently learned that I may not even be able to have my own genetic children (diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 26, a good two years before we had even planned to start trying), so learning something about my own genetic makeup- and then sharing it almost as an oral history with future children- might be the only way to pass on my “genes.”

  29. My mother was adopted, so it would so valuable to learn about my family medical history compared with what I know I could be predispositioned for based on my “known” family

  30. On my mother’s side, there are relatives that suffer from anxiety, and depression. As a mom of two children, I would like to know how my family’s genetic disposition might have affected them.

  31. Winning a 23andMe kit would be extremely meaningful to me and my fiancee. I’m actually already a 23andMe customer, but we’d love to have both of us sequenced so that we could use their tools to take a look at potential genetic profiles should we have children! She was also adopted by her grandparents and has always had questions about her background due to an unknown father and a spotty family history with various medical and psychological issues.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  32. I’d use it to trace my ancestry – hopefully to work out if the family legends of being descended from vikings are true.

    Also I’d just geek out and revel in the information.

  33. My husband had his DNA analyzed by 23andMe and now it’s my turn! I was so surprised how much information he has at his disposal. It’s fascinating! We have two children and have been trying for a third without success for over five years now. I was very excited to see the new Pregnancy module. I feel like that benefit alone and the support network that the 23andMe community could provide would be beneficial as we struggle with the highs and lows of trying to have another child. Perhaps knowing more about my DNA would shed some light on the issue.

  34. I have never met my father and know nothing about him or his side of the family. On my mom’s side, anything prior to my mom’s grandparents is gone with WWII. It would be awesome to have some information for me and my son.

  35. My grandfather had type 2 diabetes and my grandmother (as well as some other 2nd cousins) had leukemia and I would like to know if I am at an increased risk for either disease. Also, I am a computer scientist and I’m very interested in genetics. I have done some sequence analysis of SNP data, so I would love to get a chance to look at some of my own SNPs. I’m sure that over the next few years there will be an exponential increase in our knowledge of genetic risk factors and common variants.

  36. There are a lot of cancers in my family and my father passed away at the age of 47… I would like to know what I should be focused on health-wise to live the best and fullest life possible. Also, I think that it would be very interesting to know where my family is from… We have a few interesting features that seem to come from Italy or Germany or ??? It would be nice to know my roots especially since my extended family is not the best about keeping any sort of family history. 🙂

  37. I would be very interested in finding out more about my ancestry and using the genetic information to help me be more effectively proactive about my health.

  38. My dad died at age 38 of colon cancer, my sister had to have a total hysterectomy at age 34, I really would like more knowledge. (knowledge is power haha!)

  39. Well, I’ve worked in bioscience, target discovery and drug development for over 12 years. To me, it would be personally satisfying to be able to complete the circle from scientific career endeavour to personal genetic insight.

    Through work, personal learning and diagnoses among friends and family, I’ve learned about BCRA mutations in breast cancer, genetic variations affecting drug metabolism, CCR5 deletions in HIV resistance, HFE polymorphisms in hemochromatosis, ApoE in Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, trisomy, Fragile X, Smith Magenis, to name a few. My mother grew up in Xinjiang province in China, the eastern end of the Silk Road, and had a relatively rare Spanish Basque HFE polymorphism which might mean I have some European ancestory from Silk Road trading ages ago.

    And on a professional level, I’m enthusiastic about the potential of personalized medicine and I’m actively looking at the possibility of working in the field. Uh.. yep, I’m currently looking for job! 🙂

  40. My eight ball responded, “No Doubt,” when I asked it if I should enter this giveaway. Since genetics sometimes seem as random as my eight ball, I also thought it might help to have a chance to possibly demystify my genetics a bit. So, I’m entering because of a random response about whether I should demystify or not……..

  41. Although I have good genealogical information on one side of my family, the other side is pretty blank. I would like to know my heritage. Also, I suffer from some auto-immune and endocrine disorders; was I genetically predisposed to these illnesses? Might I pass on those risks to my future children?

  42. While I have always been interested in knowing more about my family and its background, the birth of our daughter last year has kicked this interest into overdrive. Winning this prize would be a great gift for both myself and my family!

  43. i too have been wondering about much of my background since my child was born. All my grandparents are now dead and a lot of my family history (and family secrets) died with them and it would be really wonderful to know my background for both myself and my son.

  44. I think it would be so interesting to know more about myself and my family. We are expecting #2 (after IVF/ICSI #5) and to know what our kids are made of, for lack of a better way of putting it, would be awesome!

  45. I’m curious, as many of us are given I only have meaningful contact with a small portion of my biological relatives.

    Do I think finding out my polymorphisms at various alleles will greatly change who I think I am? Probably no, but it’s inneresting nonetheless….

    g

  46. It would satisfy the burning genomic curiousity I’ve had ever since finding out about 23andme a year ago. I keep visiting the site every few months in hopes of another price drop. I’m keen to participate in 23andwe, and to find out if there’re any expected (ovarian cancer, which killed my grandmothers) or unexpected (e.g., BRCA, macular degeneration) future medical issues that I should prepare for/try more actively to prevent. I’m also curious what my ancestry will show up as– the Thai half I’m pretty certain is as Thai as can be, but what part of Europe the white American half came from is a mystery.

  47. My husband’s grandmother is 98 years old. We have time to find out about our own DNA, but I would love to get her information while I can for the sake of my babies on the way.

  48. Eventually, I see myself doing this for myself and for all of my sons. My sons, because they have no paternal informationl, short of the sketchy sperm bank profile….and one doesn’t even have that. I would especially like to do this for Ethan, whose diagnosis list just keeps getting longer. I hate that it always seems like we are just dealing with things as they come – would love to be able to take some pro-active steps and maybe, just maybe, stave off or at least be better prepared to deal with whatever his future might hold.

  49. We know very little about my daughter’s racial/ethnic background or medical history, as she joined us through adoption. I would love to be able to fill in some of those holes for her.

  50. My dad died when I was 12. I have no contact with his side of the family and no ifo from my mom. My ten year old has genetic nerve deafness and a congenital heart defect. I need to find out where this stuff came from.
    thanks,
    Judy

  51. Oooh, I would love to win this! I have a few health-related questions I’d like to have answers to (particularly mystery symptoms that I wonder if they are related to two autoimmune diseases close family members have) and there is also a big question mark as to my family’s ethnicity. We are ostensibly one ethnicity, but have lots of clues that we could actually be another.

  52. Having a baby really made me think about genes, especially since the other half of his genetic makeup comes from a sperm donor. I’d like to see what he’s getting from me!

    (And I’m just a really big science dork. There’s that, too.)

  53. I liked the movie GATTACA… and I think getting a DNA test would be an interesting experiment just to see what kind of genes I have… I’m actually wondering if there’s a way to “save” my genetic makeup for posterity, too…?

  54. I want to do this test because I want to see if I am a CF carrier and if I have the breast cancer gene. My husband has CBAVD which is sorta kinda a mild form of CF. And my mom is a breast cancer survivor so I’d like to know if I should just go ahead and chop my boobs off. Of course, being a poor I would never be able to buy this test myself.

  55. Autoimmune diseases are appearing in various family members and Im curious if its a hereditary thing or just by chance. My daughter was diagnosed with type diabetes at 10 years old and I would like to find out if I have the gene and passed it on to her or not. I also have a history of breast cancer on my dads side and would like to know what my risk is.

  56. Our grandparents came from Croatia during the war time and it would be great to compare ourselves with relatives that are back there.

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