JGift: The Gift That Lasts a Lifetime

The warm summer months are upon us and mark the official start of wedding season. Whether you yourself are getting ready to tie the knot, or you are attending the nuptials of a friend or family member, it is important to know about an important checklist item that could help keep future families healthy.

JScreen is a national, non-profit, public health initiative based out of Emory University in Atlanta. By educating and creating awareness around the importance of Jewish genetic disease screening, JScreen makes it easy, convenient and affordable to get screened – all without even having to leave your house! With the development of an affordable genetic screening option available from the comfort of one’s own home, JScreen marks a significant advancement in the way people access their genetic information.

With JScreen’s reliable at home saliva test, a couple can find out if their children are at risk for 80+ genetic conditions, including 40 that are more common in the Ashkenazi, Sephardic, or Mizrahi Jewish populations. The results are provided by licensed genetic counselors via telephone or video conferencing.

It’s important to point out that the majority of couples receive reassuring results.  For those that are at increased risk, there are many available options, such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) with in-vitro fertilization, to help them plan ahead for healthy children.

Many couples have said that they are surprised that more Jewish and interfaith couples don’t undergo screening and that their friends seem to be unaware of the need for it. Thus, a program such as JScreen is essential in the Jewish community, in order to inform and empower those considering starting a family.

As an alternative for purchasing your loved ones the 11th towel set from their registry, give them each a $99 JGift card to offset the cost of screening. This is the gift that lasts a lifetime.

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About Hillary Kener

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