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Her Baby Is At Risk: Lauren's Story

They're odds. That's all they are. Not fate, just probabilities. , cartoonist, is having a baby, and she's told — out of the blue — that she and her husband are both carriers of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. They are sent to a genetic counselor. What happens next — told in five beautifully drawn, emotionally eloquent cartoons — tells what it's like to walk the edge for a few weeks. She's so many things (sad, funny, scared, puzzled), and then there's the ender. Take a look.

Here's Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.


The full series of cartoons appears online this month in Nautilus, the wonderful magazine of science and culture.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: June 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM MDT
A previous version of this post included a panel indicating that a child with cystic fibrosis would need a lung transplant by the age of 5. Based on modern treatments this is highly unlikely and the panel has been changed to reflect the improved prognoses for babies born with cystic fibrosis. The panel also indicated that cystic fibrosis causes infertility and while this is typically the case it is not a certainty. The comic has been adjusted accordingly.
Corrected: June 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM MDT
A previous version of this post included a panel indicating that a child with cystic fibrosis would need a lung transplant by the age of 5. Based on modern treatments this is highly unlikely and the panel has been changed to reflect the improved prognoses for babies born with cystic fibrosis. The panel also indicated that cystic fibrosis causes infertility and while this is typically the case it is not a certainty. The comic has been adjusted accordingly.
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