23andMe is a gift as unique as those who receive it. It offers insights that are personal and often profound.
Throughout this holiday season, we’re highlighting a few people who shared how the gift of 23andMe changed their lives.
For Christmas a few years back Jarrod and Ginger Lyle gifted each other 23andMe Health + Ancestry kits.
A lifesaving Gift
They were both just curious about what they might learn. Ginger, a nurse, was particularly interested in exploring her health reports.
“I thought it would be interesting to see if we had anything genetic pop up that could be helpful in our future or for our three children,” Ginger said.
But neither Ginger nor Jarrod expected that their Christmas gift might have saved his life.
Jarrod’s 23andMe reports indicated he had two variants for what is called MUTYH-associated polyposis.* It’s an inherited condition that increases the risk for colorectal cancer. Neither of Jarrod nor Ginger had heard of it before. Being a nurse Ginger did some research. She also asked her coworkers about the condition, which is known by its acronym MAP.
The couple quickly realized it wasn’t something that they should ignore, especially considering that Jarrod’s family had a history of colon cancer. So he followed up with his doctor.
“I just turned 43, I still had a few years to go [before regular screenings] but I thought we should go get it checked out,” Jarrod said.
A healthy future
The pandemic and some issues with their insurance delayed Jarrod getting in to see a specialist. But eventually he went through a series of colonoscopies where doctors found dozens of polyps that were removed, only to find more six months later.
Each time the doctors said the polyps were benign. However, given his family’s history of colon cancer, and his genetic health risk, he decided to meet with a geneticist. Additional scans found more polyps. He discussed his options with his doctors. Jarrod decided to have his colon and rectum removed to reduce his risk for cancer.
Jarrod’s doctor believes that if he waited until he was 50 for a routine colonoscopy Jarrod would have had progressive cancer. Ginger said 23andMe turned out to be a much bigger gift than she’d ever expected.
“This test has saved my husband’s future, with myself and our children,” she said. “So thankful this was found, and my 43-year-old husband can hopefully have a healthy and long future!’
*The 23andMe PGS test uses qualitative genotyping to detect select clinically relevant variants in the genomic DNA of adults from saliva for the purpose of reporting and interpreting genetic health risks, including the 23andMe PGS Genetic Health Risk Report for MUTYH-Associated Polyposis. Your ethnicity may affect the relevance of each report and how your genetic health risk results are interpreted. The test is not intended to diagnose any disease and does not describe a person’s overall risk of developing any type of cancer. It is not intended to tell you anything about your current state of health, or to be used to make medical decisions, including whether or not you should take a medication, how much of a medication you should take, or determine any treatments. Warnings & Limitations: The 23andMe PGS Genetic Health Risk Report for MUTYH-Associated Polyposis is indicated for reporting the Y179C and G396D variants in the MUTYH gene and an increased risk for colorectal cancer. The two variants included in