Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why a ribbon?

Imagine if you put your face on Twitter and you could lose your life insurance? How about losing your driving license? Even more fun, how about the risk of someone finding your photo on Facebook when you apply for a job and being told that you aren't a fit for the company. With most tweets I write, and many links I post (not even including my blog) these are just some of the possibilities I face every day.

For the fact my mother was born with a defective gene, I can lie and tell everyone that things are just fine. Or I can be honest and admit I'm showing signs of having Huntington's Disease, although I have chosen not to test or have access to my "CAG repeats", the repeats on the fourth chromosome that can give a general idea how severe and quick moving a case of Huntington's will be. My  mother's repeats were likely to be high as she went from functional to suicidal  in a short period of time. However, like most things with HD it either fits or it doesn't.

For me, the decision to be honest about my feelings was made when my mother took a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. At that point I didn't feel comfortable lying about my family history any longer. So when I took to the internet I'm not stupid. I know that with the laws currently in place back home in the UK my life insurance rates go up if I'm tested for the disease that caused my mother's depression. I know that here in the United States I face job discrimination. So please don't judge me because my Twitter Icon is the Huntington's Disease Blue Ribbon.

Thank you,