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Know your enemy, we tell ourselves; knowledge is power. Laurie Hunter wanted to know what disease was attacking her daughter Amanda, who by the age of 2 months was not developing normally. Her muscle tone was low. She wasn’t lifting her head. She was slow to talk, and she didn’t walk until she was 2.
“As a mother, you know that everything that happens to your child is not your fault, yet you still feel responsible,” says Hunter, 42, a high school English teacher who lives in Jackson, N.J. “We turned to genetic testing because I wanted answers.” The first tests, done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) when Amanda was 4, came back normal.