I think I'm 'now' Jewish. I took a genetic test called the BRCA1 and BRCA2. It's the test for the breast cancer gene. My doctor suggested I take it since I am young to have breast cancer, my father is of Eastern European decent [Hungarian] and I have a daughter. Tahe gene is prevalent amongst Eastern European Jews and since Hungary falls into the Eastern European map- I qualified.
My results came back positive for BRCA2. [pronounced bracca 2] This answered the 'how' I got breast cancer. It also included some genetic details of my ancestry.
If you test positive for this gene [and more on this later when I feel like really sharing my deepest thoughts on this topic since it involves my kidlets] you may be of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry if you carry the mutations 187delAG, 5385insC and 6174delT.
I am positive for 6174delT. #mazeltov
The report says: If this individual is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, it is recommended that follow-up testing of relatives of this individual include analysis for the mutations 187delAG, 5385insC, and 6174delT because of reports of coexistence of two high-frequency germline mutations in some Ashkenazi families. [my dad tested positive, he was raised Catholic][and my genetic counselor wants my siblings + later my children at age 18 to get checked]
I'm not all that surprised. My father was raised Catholic. His father's side of the family was "very" Catholic... including Cardinal Janos Simor . I think his mother's ancestors were of Jewish decent. The family tree shows a last name ending in Stein. #deadgiveaway,maybe
I also wondered if my dad knew any of this... he was born in 1928, fled from behind the Iron curtain in the 40's when being of Jewish decent was obviously not very popular... which leads me to believe his parents never told him. [my dad confirmed that over Thanksgiving]
I'm also not that surprised because, well, quite frankly, I felt a little Jewish. Ok... how does one 'feel' Jewish. And can you be a little Jewish or is that like being a little bit pregnant? I don't know... but there was a certain comfort that I was amongst my people when I taught at Mercer Island High School in the Seattle area. [a predominantly Jewish community] My students noticed it, commented on it. I even tried to teach while sitting on my hands one day... that didn't work.
When I share my new info with my Jewish girlfriends, they welcome me to the tribe. Yesterday I even had a gift on my front porch. It included books on Hanukkah and Matzo Ball soup, a dreidel, and Hanukkah cookies. :) #seethecookiepicabove #happyHanukkah
I'm not sure what if anything to do with my newfound ancestry. In fact I wasn't raised Catholic, I don't belong to a church and I embrace people's rights to worship whom or what they please. What I do know is that I carry the BRCA2 gene and I don't believe that any god would wish breast cancer on anyone.