The University of Wisconsin has had an ongoing DNA study for kids with vision issues particularly kids with Peter's Anomaly. Sam has been in the study for years. As DNA testing and gene sequencing has improved we have gotten more and more information. We placed Sarah in the study about 4 years ago. They both had a microarray DNA study done a few years ago when it became available.
We had already found that Sam had a deletion in chromosome 4 at the 35qt marker-a very large one. I did a lot of research on it and found the ONE doctor (at the time) who was doing research on that particular gene. The part of the deletion we were concerned about was the deletion of a liver tumor inhibitor. Most people have two liver tumor inhibitors in chromosome 4- Sam only had one. We were concerned that made him at higher risk for liver cancer. The researcher does not think that is so based on his research with mice. Jon and I were both tested and we have both markers so his deletion was just a random thing that happened at conception. Even though the doctor reassured us, we started being alot more careful of what Sam eats. Thankfully Sam absolutely hates sweets and craves BEANS and PEAS! He loves guacamole and all kinds of healthy food. But if you give him something sweet he will spit it out and act like he has been given poison We've never discovered the cause of his lack of sweet tooth. LOL
So today we went over the results of DNA sequencing type testing that has come back from the U of W. We may have a deeper answer on Sarah than just Peter's Anomaly. The research has found that she has a deletion in chromosome 2 which is called SOX2. It is characterized by anophthalm (no eye) and/or microphthalmia (very small eye) that is usually bilateral. Other common findings include brain malformations, esophageal atresia, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and/or pituitary hypoplasia. There can also be deafness or early onset seizures involved. It seems all children have intellectual disabilities Thankfully for Sarah she has none of the problems except for the small eyes/no eye and the intellectual disability I'm sure if she were a newborn we'd be devastated by this but we kinda already knew this and absolutely love her! We are just thankful she doesn't have any other hard thing that is associated with this. She had to be tested for it so that she could be medically diagnosed. There is a difference with researchers saying she has something and actually being diagnosed by a medical doctor. So we won't know for a few weeks for 100%. But I think it's pretty sure.
The one way this may impact her in the future, is she may never reach puberty. The "hypogonadotropic hypogondism and/or pituitary hypoplasia" basically means ovaries/uterus may never grow with or without involvement of her pituitary gland. So she could have normal levels and she stil might not mature or she could have abnormal levels and still not mature. If this is confirmed, we would have to watch her bone density closely. Hitting puberty for boys and girls causes the bones to harden and become more dense. Other than that, there is no real issue for her since she would not be planning on getting married and starting a family. Honestly it was a relief for me to hear this because obviously I was not looking forward to her hitting puberty and all that involves. It's funny, I have always thought she might have something along these lines, don't ask me why but I have had a feeling about this.
We have pursued genetic testing for our kids for several reasons. Obviously since Sam and Steve are biological brothers, we want to know if Steve is a carrier of anything. He is not -all of Sam's DNA issues are non genetic so far (more about that later.) We also want them tested to make sure there is nothing lurking that we don't know about in time. Often when a child has one issue, there are other issues out there.
Sam got back some research that was a little murkier. He had a hit come back on something, that I also tested positive for-it also has to do with small eyes. Luckily Steve was with us today and was able to be tested for it. Steve has normal size eyes while I have small eyes. I can remember when i was a little girl my great aunts telling me that when they first saw me I had such very small eyes. It always made an impression on them but no one seemed to put it together with my vision issues.
Anyhow if Steve tests positive for this-then it's nothing-just a funny piece of DNA since he has regular size eyes. If he tests negative, it will lead them to do a deeper study on this to see if this is a new marker for eye issues. The doctor wants me to try and contact some of my biological family for testing....awkward.... While I am so interested to know more, I don't have much of a relationship with my immediate birth family since I was not raised with them.
So despite all the new info, both of my kids are still considered to have Peter's Anomaly-which is rare. This is just a deeper explanation of the DNA in both of them that gives even more details and obviously even more rare! They are each one in a billion!
We plan on taking Selah over there soon. I had scheduled an appointment for her that was for a few weeks after the accident happened:( With everything else, genetics did not seem very important. But we'd like to see if we could get a diagnosis that will give us more insight into her.
This was long and involved and I doubt seriously if I explained everything correctly but its very interesting to me.
*One cool thing was we were in Orlando near where I did ministry at a soup kitchen for the homeless when I was in college. We also worked with prostitutes and drug addicts. I was able to find the building and saw it was still in use. That area of Orlando (Orange Blossom Trail) has been cleaned ups some but it's still a pretty rough area. It's only about 2 miles from the kids' doctor's office and a large children's hospital. That ministry defined my life and pointed me in a direction I probably would have never gone on my own. I'm not sure how many lives I changed but it certainly changed my life. I'll have to write about some of my experiences on OBT one day