Counsyl Has Generously Donated Free Genetic Tests to Help Raise Awareness of SMA

At the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, we want as many people as possible to know that 1 in 40 people unknowingly carry a severe mutation in the SMA gene. Getting tested before pregnancy is one of the best ways to make sure that your child does not fall victim to a possibly lethal genetic disease.

And the least expensive way to do that today is with the Universal Genetic Test.

Counsyl has been gracious enough to donate five Universal Genetic Tests to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in recognition of August as SMA Awareness month. They have been building up a reputation as a patron of many rare disease foundations, and we believe wholeheartedly in their mission: to make preventive carrier testing accessible to everyone. We believe that every woman has the right to know her own genetic information, and the right to act on this knowledge to make informed, educated reproductive decisions about her children and her family.

Why is carrier screening important?

The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) recommends that all adults of reproductive age who are planning to conceive be offered carrier testing for spinal muscular atrophy. Unfortunately, most parents do not find out they are carriers until they have a child born with a genetic disease. Early testing is the only way to know if your pregnancy will be at high risk, and to allow you and your doctor to take specific actions to conceive a healthy child or prepare for the birth of a child with a genetic disease. Ideally, carrier testing should be done before pregnancy to provide you with the most options for prevention.

The Universal Genetic Test screens for SMA and more than one hundred other inherited genetic diseases. If you and your partner are found to be carriers of SMA or another genetic disease, you will have a 1 in 4 (or 25%) chance of having an affected child. This risk applies to every pregnancy – so even if you already have healthy children, you could still be at risk of having a baby with SMA or another genetic disease.

How does the Universal Genetic Test work?

The Universal Genetic Test screens for causal mutations for more than 100 serious diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, Tay-Sachs, and many more. Taking the test is simple:

  1. Request the Counsyl Universal Genetic Test through your doctor
  2. Provide a sample of blood or saliva
  3. Receive your results from your doctor in 2 to 3 weeks

That’s it. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

Like any carrier screening test, some carriers will not be detected, but a negative result can significantly reduce your risk of having a child with SMA or another serious genetic disease. The Universal Genetic Test costs at most $349 per test — nothing compared to the heartache of losing a child — and most insurance plans cover the cost of the test.

How to enter our drawing for a Universal Genetic Test:

  1. “Like” Gwendolyn Strong Foundation on Facebook
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post saying that you are entering. Example: “I want to receive a Universal Genetic Test. (Be sure to write your Facebook name and leave your email so we can contact you if you win. If you are already a fan on Facebook, leave that in the comment on this blog post and be sure to leave your Facebook name so we can verify).

In addition, you may know at least one person with a family history of one of the one hundred plus inherited genetic diseases covered by the test.

  • BONUS ENTRY >> Tell a friend, family member, or spouse. Have them follow the same instructions above to enter our drawing for a free test, mentioning that you invited them. Example: “I want to receive a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test and @Jane Doe sent me.” They will be entered and you will receive an additional entry for each person who mentions you.

The Fine Print: 1) All entries must be received by 11 pm Thursday, September 8th. Two winners were already selected and announced on September 1st. Three additional recipients will be selected at random and announced Friday, September 9th. Selection will be performed using Random.org. The recipient must claim their test within 48 hours by emailing victoria@thegsf.org or a new recipient will be selected. 2) You cannot enter for someone else — everyone must leave a comment on our fan page and blog post for themselves. 3) You must be 18 years or older to enter. 4) US residents only.

Knowledge is power. Every woman and man has the right to know their own genetic makeup, and to make the reproductive decisions they believe appropriate to protect the health of their children and their family.

About Bill Strong

Passionately dedicated to raising awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic killer of young children, and accelerating promising research towards a cure. Together we will end SMA: one person and one dollar at a time.

Comments

  1. Susan Bryan says:

    I am already a fan of GSF and I would love to win a Counsyl Genetic Test because my granddaughter Addy has SMA Type 1. My daughter Jennifer Garner sent me. My facebook name is Susan Williams Bryan and my e-mail is SMBRYAN713@aol.com.

  2. Janel Kiefer says:

    I would like to win these tests for my husband and myself. My husbands little cousin Andy passed away from SMA and we are at the point where we would like to start having children. Since there is a history of SMA in the family, we would like to get tested just so we know if we are carriers or not. Thank you for sponsoring such a wonderful opportunity.

  3. Jane Williams says:

    I’d love to win a Counsyl Genetic Test for my niece, Christina Bryan. My niece Jennifer Garner sent me. Thanks for sponsoring this!

  4. “I want to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test.” Thank you so much for sponsoring this <3

  5. Cassandra Imbus says:

    I want to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test.

  6. Rebecca Drake says:

    I want to win!! I’m already a fan! Name and email are ones used on Facebook!

  7. McKenzie Liston says:

    I am already a fan of Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and I would love to win a Counsyl Genetic Test because my niece Brynlee recently passed away after almost 4 years of battling SMA Type 1. She would’ve turned 4 yesterday. My sister in law Tara Liston suggested I visit the site. My facebook name is Kenzy Liston and my e-mail is kenzy_marie25@hotmail.com.

  8. Amanda woodard says:

    I want to win the Counsyl universal genetic test. My names amanda woodard and im recommending my husband Bj Woodard

  9. Hi! I would like to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test as my RE recently informed my husband and I that based on our ethnicities, we should be tested for SMA. I am a fan on Facebook. My Facebook name is Anoushka Dalseme.

  10. Debbie Eskew says:

    I want to win this because my son in law needs to be tested and insurance denied coverage. My daughter is positive and she lost her son Julian to this horrible disease.

  11. Alison Forsyth says:

    I want to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test. My friend Anoushka Dalseme sent me. I am already a fan on facebook!

  12. Shannah Hudson says:

    My name is Shannah Tribble Hudson, shannaht@hotmail.com, and I want to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test. My daughter was born with Glutaric Aciduria Type 1 and our family had no idea we were carriers. My husband and I would love to find out what other disorders we are carriers for.

  13. BJ Woodard says:

    I would like to win the Counsyl Universal Genetic Test for my wife Amanda Woodard and I. My name is Bj Woodard. Email is woodard.bj.gmail.com

  14. Isabelle Bravet-Boniol says:

    I want to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test.

  15. Brenda Washeleski Gocek says:

    Want to win a counsyl genetic test…already a fb GSF fan! Facebook name same as listed above.

  16. Kristin Nunnelley says:

    Sarah Turnbull sent me. Let’s raise awareness!! I want a free carrier test!

  17. brittany Holman says:

    I want to win a counsyl genetic test for my husband Joshua Holman. I have already received this test and mine was positive and his insurance denied him the test. We need to win this test, my son Julian passed away last year from this horrible disease.

  18. I’d like to win test b/c Family member had baby with SMA.
    I am a fan on FB.

  19. I am a fan of GSF on facebook & would like to enter. My boyfriend is likely a carrier because his sister has SMA. My facebook name is Lisa Ann, e-mail Lisa6Ann110@yahoo.com

  20. I would like to win the testing kits for my children (both adults in child-bearing years). I tweeted about the contest but forgot to say put , “@newbornscreens sent me” in the comments. Oh well.

  21. Emily Cooke says:

    My name is Emily Cooke and I would love to win the free genetic test. My beautiful niece passed away from SMA type 1 on easter morning this year at only 9 months. My name on facebook is Emily Veronica

  22. Jessica Hastings says:

    I would like to receive a Universal Genetic Test so my younger brother can be tested for SMA. My 2 year old daughter was just diagnosed.

    Thanks,
    Jessica Hastings (I am already a fb fan)

  23. I want to receive a Universal Genetic Test! After knowing SMA runs in our family and losing our daughter Violet to SMA when she was 6 months old- I want to know what other genetic diseases possibly run in my family.
    Already a GSF fan and FB name is Allison Mancinelli Wehrkamp :)

    Hugs to Gwendolyn as well!!!

  24. Nancy Weber says:

    I want to win Counsyl Universal Genetic Test! Nancy McBee Weber and Kristin Banjany sent me!

  25. Mary Young says:

    I would like to receive a Universal Genetic Test so my son can be tested to see if he is a carrier. My daughter has SMA TYPE 1.

    FB name is Maryterryyoung-daughter’s name is Angel Young

  26. Sarah Turnbull says:

    I am a GSF fan (of course) and want to win a Universal Genetic Test!!! Thank you!!!!
    Sarah Turnbull, Stella’s mommy

  27. Sandy Kay Haynes says:

    “I want to receive a Universal Genetic Test. denlib@frontiernet.net Christy Lorenzen directed me to this site. Christy’s 2 wonderful nephews have SMA. We would like to see all members of this family tested for SMA.

  28. Mark Haynes says:

    Please enter me in your contest to win a Universal Genetic Test. Sandy Kay Haynes directed me to this site. We know a family that would like to get all siblings tested as one sisters boys have SMA. Thank you. mshaynes@mchsi.com

  29. Scott Wilkins says:

    i would like to receive a free genetic test. Christy Lorenzen has referred me to this web site and special offer.

  30. Carolyn Nieland says:

    Thank you for making this test available. This information was sent to me from Jeff Lorenzen.

  31. Carol Calkins says:

    i would like to receive a free genetic test. Christy Lorenzen has referred me to this web site and special offer.

  32. I would love to receive a Universal Genetic Test for my siblings since my little boy Jack has Type 1. My facebook name is Sarah Casey Bonelli and my email address is bonelli.family@gmail.com

    Thanks so much!

  33. Sarah Keating says:

    I want to receive a Universal Genetic Test. My facebook name is Sarah Blumenthal Keating and my email address is Sarah_G_Blumenthal@hotmail.com. Thanks GSF for all that you do!

  34. Mary L. Siegner says:

    I would love to win a free genetics test. I have a wonderful friend that has 2 little boys that have SMA & I would like to see their whole family be tested. Christy Lorenzen directed me to this site.

  35. I’d love to win a Counsyl Universal Genetic test so my brother or sister could be tested to see if they are carriers, since they have a niece with type 1 SMA. My facebook name is Barb Zahn.

  36. This is such a wonderful giveaway!

  37. Lindsay Draher says:

    I am entering to win a free genetics test. I am already a fan on facebook and my name is Lindsay Marie Draher :)

  38. Trisha Fink says:

    I want to receive a Counsyl Universal Genetic Test. We know of a family that are carriers and other family members would like to be tested. I was referred by Jeff Lorenzen.
    Facebook name is Trisha May Dirks-Fink

  39. I would like to win a free genetics test. We have friends that have 2 grandchildren with SMA & I would like to see their whole family be tested. Jeff Lorenzen referred me.

    Facebook name Matt Fink

  40. Heather Terry says:

    I would like to win a free genetic test, Christy Lorenzen has referred me to this website and special offer. SHE DESERVES IT!!! :)

  41. Katiana Dunn says:

    I’d love to win Counsyl Universal Genetic Test. My daughter has SMA and we need to have her sister tested. FB name is Katiana Carvalho Dunn.Thanks for all the wonderful work you do to fight SMA!.

  42. Rob Hudson says:

    I want to receive a Universal Genetic Test. My daughter has GA1 and I would love to know what other possible disorders/diseases I may be a carrier of.

  43. Julie Peterson says:

    Tara Liston sent me. Let’s raise awareness!! I want a free carrier test! I am already a fan! :)

  44. I would like to enter to win a genetic test. I am a fan on facebook and my email address is girlee20@hotmail.com

  45. i would like to Win a Universal Genetic Testing. My name is Ana Bonilla and my email is a.bonilla128@yahoo.com im already a fan on facebook….My friend referred me her daughter has SMA, her name is Shellie lopes. thanx

  46. I want to win a counsyl genetic test! Anna Clark sent me

  47. I want to win the counsyl tests. Anna Clark sent me.

  48. If the drawing is still going on I would love to have a universal genetic test.

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