Every since I saw Henry Louis Gates special “African American Lives” I’ve been intrigued about genealogy and wanted to find out more about where my ancestors came from. As depicted in the documentary, it’s cultural for most Black Americans to believe that we are part Native American or as we like
to say “Indian.” I’m pretty sure I remember even my Father saying that his grandmother was Indian. One thing is for sure, I’ll find out, when I get my test results back from 23andMe.
I had a unique opportunity to meet some awesome folks from 23andMe at BlogaliciusFIVE, an annual multi-cultural bloggers conference that was held in Atlanta, GA this year October 3-5. Since I cover healthcare topics on my blog, 23andMe asked to partner with me and received a test kit in order to share my experience with you all. I’m stoked to have the opportunity for more than one reason. As I mentioned earlier, I’m really interested in knowing more about my heritage. My Dad’s side of the family tend to be darker complexioned people, I’m assuming more direct lineage to Africa. On my Mom’s side of the family, there a quite a few fair skinned people, I’m curious to know that origin. I assume it’s western European, but it will be so cool to find out which region for sure.
While genealogy is a fascination of mine, the more practical and most important reason I’m enthralled with 23andMe is the genetic health assessment component of the DNA analysis.
These are beloved parents, both of whom have gone on to glory to be my angels. I miss these two. My Daddy suffered a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 47, just when I was 11 years old. God was good to me & my Mom and He blessed us to carry on with life and fair pretty well. However in 2008, at the age of 68, my Mom joined my Dad to become my best angel. With a family history of premature life expectancy, it is important for me to know my genetic risks. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and kidney failure run in my family. Some of those can be genetic. I’ll soon be 38 and couldn’t pass up the awesome opportunity to find out the genetic health risks I face, considering I still desire to start a family.
Now, on to the fun part!
- First, you have to order your kit online, directly from 23andMe (by using this affiliate link, it allows me to earn a small commission. Thanks in advance, I truly appreciate it).
- After your sample kit(s) arrive, the very next thing you must do is register your kit online. This is very important. You don’t want to forget this step.
- Now comes the yuck, eww, icky part, if you have a weak stomach. It doesn’t phase me because I’m a med tech and use to playing with blood & body fluids, but anywho. You have to spit or expel your saliva for the sophisticated folks, into the clear plastic tube, just above the fill line. You can’t eat or drink anything for 30 minutes prior to collecting your sample. For more details about sample collection read here.
- Next you snap the cap with the buffer solution over top of the plastic tube that contains your saliva. Once all the buffer solution is in the tube, you remove the funnel cap & replace it with the round cap and mix.
- Place the tube in the plastic biohazard bag and securely enclose it in the box.
- You are now ready to mail you specimen back to 23andMe. The box is self-addressed and postage pre-paid. All you have to do is get it to a mailbox.
- It takes 1-2 weeks for 23andMe to receive your box and you will receive an email confirmation that it has arrived
- Sample analysis can take 4-6 weeks. When your results are available you will receive an email notification.
Whether you decide to take the DNA journey for health or genealogy reasons, I think you will find it fun and informative. I would love to answer your questions and read your comments, share them below.
Blessings and good health to you,