We are expecting our third child any day now. This is an exciting time for us. And, for a while, it was a difficult time as well. Why? Because the odds are 1 in 4 that this baby will be born with Cystic Fibrosis.
Some would consider us reckless or ignorant. Others would call us brave or compassionate. And others may think that we are simply crazy.
But I ask… what would you do?
First of all, here’s the science behind this debate:
Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder, is present from birth. CF occurs when a child inherits two defective copies of the gene responsible for CF, one from each parent.
Approximately one in 25 Canadians is a CF carrier, carrying only one defective version of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Carriers do not have, and can never get, cystic fibrosis. In most cases, they are not even aware they are carriers.
When two carriers have a child, there is a
- 25% chance the child will be born with cystic fibrosis
- 50% chance the child will not have CF, but will be a carrier
- 25% chance the child will not have CF and will not be a carrier
With each pregnancy, the risks are exactly the same. Two carrier parents may have several children with cystic fibrosis or none at all.
Thanks to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the above info. source)
Next up: Part 2 – our circumstances