Taking Charge of Her Health

Morgan Eklund

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data.

Becoming a mom pushed Morgan Eklund to take charge of her health.

Her two young sons helped crystallized in her a simple but powerful goal:

“I am going to be here when they grow up,” she told herself.

It wasn’t just looking to the future that prodded Morgan to act, but also looking at the past. She’d watched her grandmother battle breast, ovarian and uterine cancer. She’d seen her own mother live with the risk. So at 27, Morgan decided to take charge and do whatever she needed to do to lower her own risks and improve her health.

“When I discovered 23andMe, I was thrilled,” she said. “I immediately signed up (as did my husband) and we sent off our samples.”Morgan1

The results showed an elevated risk for breast cancer, which given her family history didn’t surprise Morgan.

“I thought, ‘Oh crap – I have to do something,’” Morgan said.

Meeting with her doctor they went over the results.

“Together we formulated a plan that would help me sleep much better at night,” she said.

But Morgan didn’t stop there. She pored through her results methodically looking at each condition for which she had an elevated risk and researched lifestyle changes she could make to reduce her risks. In the abstract Morgan has always known what to do to keep herself healthy, but it took a little nudge from 23andMe to get her to start taking better care of herself.

Like a lot of new moms, Morgan wasn’t focused as much as she could be on her own health. Her time was limited and she wasn’t able to exercise much. She thought to herself, “I’ll do that when they get to school age.”

But seeing her results in black and white and talking to her doctor helped prod her to take action.

“Looking at my own personal data and genetic information really hit home,” Morgan said. “I changed my lifestyle.”

She took up power yoga, started eating better and losing weight.

“Today, I am no longer obese,” she said recently. “I am extremely healthy and continue to log in and read new reports as they become available; I changed my lifestyle to reduce risk.  I am the mother of two little boys and I am going to be here when they grow up.”

Results not typical. Results vary due to unique differences in each individual’s DNA. On average, users receive at least one or two results that may help with proactively managing health.  23andMe’s services are not a substitute for professional medical or diagnostic advice.


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