A few months after starting with BioGen Labs, Abigail gets permission to conduct a small project investigating her family’s DNA heritage, in particular the female side. She’s noted the prevalence of cancer in her mother’s family and wants to see if she can isolate the markers for it. Kyle agrees, as long as it does not take away from her assignments and isn’t a drain on resources, agreeing that it would be good practice for Abigail.
She spends a night with her mother, detailing all her maternal relatives, and those of her grandmother’s sister. Once she has a list of names, she sets out contacting them via letters, with forms to gain their consent to participate. Given the challenges communicating with her, Rhiannon insists on being the person who obtains a sample from her mother.
“Rosie’s her guardian and she’s okay with it, but it’s better I do it since she’s more used to my being around.”
“You know the procedure, right?” Abigail asks.
“I’m a nurse. Show me what to do and I’ll do it.”
Abigail talks Rhiannon through collecting a sample from her for practice.
Her next stop is her aunt’s house where she encounters her first surprise.
“I don’t want Genevieve participating in this,” Rosalind says.
“The results will be totally confidential, Aunt Rosie,” Abigail says. “I’m the only one who’ll see them.”
“That doesn’t matter. I’m her mother and I say she can’t participate.”
“What’s the problem, Mom? I want to participate.”
“She’ll have my results. She won’t need yours.”
“But Mom —”
“No means no. I’m not going to discuss it.”
Genevieve storms off to her room.
“Now, what do you need from me.”
Abigail outlines the procedure then collects the sample.
As she’s packing up, Abigail says, “If you change your mind about Genni —”
“How are you feeling? Mom says you’ve been a bit run down lately.”
“I’ve just been a little tired. I have a checkup the end of next week so hopefully we can figure something out.”
By the end of the following month, Abigail is pleased to see most of her relatives have responded positively to her request. One person who hasn’t responded yes or no is her mother’s first cousin, Barbara McKenna. Abigail considers calling her, but finally decides to give her a little more time, since there are enough positive responses to keep her busy for a few weeks.