Jewish Health

Miriam - Interview 5

Female
Age at interview: 47

Brief outline: Miriam discovered that she carries the gene for Tay Sachs as a teenager. She arranged to marry her husband who does not carry the gene and expects their children will be tested anonymously.

Background: Miriam is a kindergarten teacher and married with five children. Ethnic background/nationality: Orthodox Jewish

Audio & video

 Miriam is a kindergarten teacher and is married with five children. She discovered she carries the Tay Sachs gene as a teenager after her brother tested positively. At the time Miriam thought about it more theoretically than practically. However as she grew older and became more frum (devout) she decided to arrange for possible husbands to be tested for the gene before doing a Shidduch (arranging a potential marriage partner). After three men were tested and carried the gene, Miriam met her husband who was not a carrier and they now have five children. Miriam describes how asking people to be tested in advance of meeting was not a problem within her community and she expects that her children will also be tested anonymously in the future. Miriam feels that carrying the Tay Sachs gene is part of her identity and not necessarily a negative part. 

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