“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)
The National Gaucher Foundation estimates that 1 in 3 Ashkenazi Jews, those of Eastern European descent, carry one or more fatal genetic mutations.
This problem arose because for thousands of years, the Eastern European Jewish community only married and inter-married within a closed society. At some time in the past, specific genetic mutations occurred and passed from generation to generation.
But, American Jews can break this intergenerational chain with simple post-mortem DNA testing.
Kronish Funeral Services is one of the few funeral homes in the United States that performs post-mortem DNA testing.
Armed with the knowledge of your DNA composition, after you die you can warn your descendants about whether they are potential carriers and avoid passing on these genetic diseases to their children.
DNA testing is essential to eliminating the hereditary diseases that have destroyed the lives of so many in the Jewish community.
Post-mortem DNA testing is non-invasive and low cost. It will not result in your descendants being discriminated against because of pre-existing medical conditions. But, post-mortem DNA testing will prevent these terrible diseases from ravaging your family long after you are gone.
It is impossible to overstate the value of post-mortem DNA testing for your family’s future.
If you would like more information on post-mortem DNA testing please call Kronish Funeral Services at 561-717-2874.
Below is some information from the National Gaucher Foundation about the five most common hereditary diseases that kill Ashkenazi Jews:
- Gaucher Disease (1 in 10 Ashkenazi Jews carry this gene mutation)
Gaucher disease is a genetic disorder where fat-laden Gaucher cells build up in areas like the spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Some forms of this disease are quickly fatal, while others meaningfully shorten life and dramatically reduce the quality of life.
- Cystic Fibrosis (1 in 24 Ashkenazi Jews carry this gene mutation)
Normally, cells in the lungs and digestive system produce a thin, slippery mucus as part of normal physiological processes. In people with cystic fibrosis, this mucus becomes much thicker and stickier, which damages internal organs, especially the lungs. It is possible to manage this condition with medications and daily care, but those who develop this disease have shortened life spans, typically only living into the middle-late 30s.
- Tay-Sachs Disease (1 in 27 Ashkenazi Jews carry this gene mutation)
Tay-Sachs disease is characterized by progressive deterioration of nerve cells (neurons) in both the brain and spinal cord. This destruction results from a shortage of an enzyme required to break down fatty substances in the body. There is currently no cure for Tay-Sachs disease.
- Familial Dysautonomia (1 in 31 Ashkenazi Jews carry this gene mutation)
Typically, symptoms of this disease are already present when a baby is born. Familial dysautonomia is characterized by changes to nerves in the autonomic nervous system. These nerves are responsible for many involuntary bodily functions, including blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion. While there has been progress in developing effective treatments for this disease, people with the condition usually have shortened lifespans.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (1 in 41 Ashkenazi Jews carry this gene mutation)
There are several different types of this disease, but all affect the control of muscle movement due to a decline in the number of specialized nerve cells, called motor neurons, in both the spinal cord and brainstem. Life expectancy varies widely depending on the type. There is no cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, but treatment may be effective at managing the symptoms and complications.