Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Yesterday was my birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and I spent a wonderful day, visiting first my mother then, with Ray and Anna, we spent the day my aunt and cousin.

But whose daughter am I? My mother is alive and well but as I was donor conceived she has no idea who my real father was. I’d love to be fit enough to pursue my quest properly but I may not be able to.

Already there have been chromosomal changes to my DNA because of mantle cell lymphoma which causes translocation of two of the chromosomes. But I am going to have my DNA taken again before I go into the bubble because when I come out my DNA and even my blood group will be different.

What do I hope to achieve? Well I’ve tried the official route of contacting my MP and I have received a stultifyingly boring reply from the Minister of Health. It doesn’t match my situation at all but just describes the changes that have been made so that some DI conceived offspring may have access to some information about their donors provided the donors are agreeable. No one is interested in making any changes which will rock the boat.

They’ve established narrow criteria for a few people to access a little information and presumably hope the rest of us will die out before we make any more trouble. Infertility is a problem that is not going to disappear and the consequences of some of the current and future practices and the implications for offspring really must be considered – not just the wishes of people who want to be parents however sincere they may be.

I can’t do much now before I have the transplant but I hope to record what happens and if possible write a book or magazine article. I think it’s too late now for a TV documentary as I believe it needs about three months’ planning time before shooting. My daughter has geneticist friends and I am hoping that at some time in the future there will be a way of finding out both male and female ethnicity from a DNA sample.

Everything hinges now on a clear PET scan and I don’t even know yet when that will be but if I have gone into remission, my journey into the bubble may begin sooner than I had anticipated.

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