The Family Gene : A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance Into A Hopeful Future

The Family Gene : A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance Into A Hopeful Future

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Traces the author's quest to uncover the truth about a previously undocumented genetic disorder that had ended the lives of multiple family members, a wrenching chronicle of survival that also illuminated potential breakthroughs in genomic medicine.


A riveting medical mystery about a young woman’s quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the exploding field of genomic medicine

When Joselin Linder was in her twenties her legs suddenly started to swell. After years of misdiagnoses, doctors discovered a deadly blockage in her liver. Struggling to find  an explanation for her unusual condition, Joselin compared the medical chart of her father—who had died from a mysterious disease, ten years prior—with that of an uncle who had died under similarly strange circumstances. Delving further into the past, she discovered that her great-grandmother had displayed symptoms similar to hers before her death. Clearly, this was more than a fluke.

Setting out to build a more complete picture of the illness that haunted her family, Joselin approached Dr. Christine Seidman, the head of a group of world-class genetic researchers at Harvard Medical School, for help. Dr. Seidman had been working on her family’s case for twenty years and had finally confirmed that fourteen of Joselin’s relatives carried something called a private mutation—meaning that they were the first known people to experience the baffling symptoms of a brand new genetic mutation. Here, Joselin tells the story of their gene: the lives it claimed and the future of genomic medicine with the potential to save those that remain. 

Digging into family records and medical history, conducting interviews with relatives and friends, and reflecting on her own experiences with the Harvard doctor, Joselin pieces together the lineage of this deadly gene to write a gripping and unforgettable exploration of family, history, and love. A compelling chronicle of survival and perseverance, The Family Gene is an important story of a young woman reckoning with her father’s death, her own mortality, and her ethical obligations to herself and those closest to her.

Publisher: Ecco Press,, 2017
ISBN: 9780062378927
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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Nov 19, 2017

Great read. A very compelling story and hard to put down. I even learned a little more about genetics. Her story gives an idea of what happens with orphan diseases. I would guess that her story isn't typical in that her father was a doctor with helpful connections in the medical community.

The life of Henrietta Lacks makes for interesting contrast to this story and vice versa. If you like medical tye stories I would recommend author Dr. Brian Goldman. I would also recommend Brain on Fire by Susannah Callahan. There are also a couple of great books about the Plasticity of the Brain written by a Canadian Dr.


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