Back in February, I mailed a small vial of saliva to be tested. My doctor informed me I could find out if my ALS was caused by a faulty gene. There’s a higher chance in younger pALS, they told me.
It wasn’t a big thing to me; I didn’t see any changes on the horizon either way. If they discovered a faulty gene, there were potentially some experimental treatments, I was told with some semblance of hope. And I would know what caused all of this, but that didn’t feel like any reason to celebrate.
In the introduction of the testing, an unfamiliar neurologist asked if I had children. If there were any genetic deficiency, it could be passed on to them; they’d have to be tested as well. No children, we told them. A positive result would quickly slam the door on my Lloyd Christmas one-in-a-million mindset toward kids.
Months after sending the sample and registering on the website, I’d heard nothing. Something recently jogged my memory and I checked in, saw a “Pending” status, and clicked the “Request Results” button. About a month later, on September 2nd, I received an email. Negative. No answers. But Lloyd’s fantasy lives on.