Did you know that 1 child in every 20 is born with a genetic disease or birth defect.
Genetic diseases are one of the leading causes of death in children under 4 and the main cause of ongoing hospitalisation.
Genetic diseases are conditions caused by changes in our DNA – the material we all possess that makes us unique (unless we have an identical twin!).
We inherit genes from our parents and theses genes define the way our body works or how we look. Sometimes these inherited genes can be abnormal.
In other cases, the genes we inherit from our parents can change through mutations. Most mutations are harmless but some are not.
We have a limited understanding about how our genes affect our health although the Human Genome Project provided key insights through mapping of human chromosomes.
We now know how some cancers start and that genetic targeting with specifically designed drugs can control the spread of some cancers.
Knowledge of the genetics of illnesses like cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy has resulted in new ways of managing these conditions.
But we have only scratched the surface! More research is needed before we can significantly reduce the burden on parents with a child with a genetic disorder.
Dr Ron Tomlins.
Click here for more information of genetic disease.
Jeans for genes day funds the research that helps to diagnose, understand and find cures for conditions affecting kids, including genetic diseases, cancer and epilepsy. This year is the 25th year and they aim to raise $25 million.
Make a generous donation here to help the Children’s Medical Research Institute raise the much needed funds.