The Melungeons blog

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Melungeons, DNA and Inherited Illnesses

by Nancy Sparks Morrison


The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People : an Untold Story Brent and Robyn Kennedy page 73

"I remember Granddady reminiscing on his favorite book, Black Beauty, and how his eyes would brighten when he told of the mistreated horse who broke away from its cruel master and rode to greatness. That was Granddady, the mistreated child who broke his bonds and raced his heart out to the finish line. It is probably why he always loved horses; I know he never mistreated one. But life took its toll, and one afternoon as he walked across main street in Norton, Virginia, he collapsed. Nine years later, unable to move or speak from the day of his stroke, he died."

My Comment:

Heart and coronary heart disease is an inherited disease. Knowing and understanding genealogy is important. Some groups of people are more prone to diseases, these are called DNA or genetic related diseases. Example, African Americans are subject to sickle cell anemia. Being aware of this one can perhaps take certain test in order to catch the destruction before it happens.

It is worth the effort and time to read the death certificates of those who are deceased. Learning the cause of death could save your life as well as the lives of your blood relatives.

In my family we are experiencing the same kind of heart disease that the Kennedy family appears to have. My doctor told me to call ALL of my cousins to get checked and get a stress test once a years. Preventive care is the best medicine. Knowing your family medical background can save many premature deaths.