Meet the Beery Twins
What would you do if your children were sick and no proven cure was working? Ask Retta Beery.
Her twins Alexis and Noah had medical problems since they were born. The twins were colicky, threw up multiple times a day, and missed their developmental milestones.
For years, the twins’ mom, Retta, searched for the right treatment and researched new options. She finally found a project with Life Technologies and Baylor College of Medicine. Through whole genome sequencing – made possible by the NIH-funded Human Genome Project – researchers mapped the twins’ complete DNA patterns. The whole genome sequencing project revealed the genetic mutation responsible for Alexis’ and Noah’s neurological disorder. This was the first time the family had black and white evidence of the problem.
“The full genome sequencing felt like the first time we had a real solution,” said Retta. “We were no longer just diagnosing in response to a medication.”
"Increased funding for the NIH means hope. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there with no answers. Funding for the NIH means better, more specific treatments."
Mother of Noah and Alexis
With all the information provided by the diagnostic testing, the Beerys worked with their neurologist to begin new treatment that helped minimize, even eliminate, the life-threatening symptoms.
Retta and Joe Beery credit their twins’ health to full genome sequencing. Without NIH’s funding for genome sequencing research, the Beerys never would have found the root of their children’s disease.
“We are now huge proponents for advancing the technologies that all of these brilliant scientists are working on here in the U.S. and around the world,” said Retta.
The Beerys are determined to help other families searching for answers, but they cannot do it alone. A robust investment in NIH means more kids like Alexis and Noah can live happy, healthy lives.
“Increased funding for the NIH means hope. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there with no answers,” said Retta. “Funding for the NIH means better, personalized treatments that can help meet the needs of patients who once had no hope.”