Jen and Pete St. Aubin
Jen and Pete St. Aubin were overjoyed to find out they were expecting their first child in January 2014. The pregnancy progressed uneventfully until the routine 20 week ultrasound when the baby was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disease known as Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). It is a recessive genetic disorder that affects approximately 1:20,000. Jen and Pete decided to carry the pregnancy to full term. Sophie Marie St. Aubin was born on September 15, 2014 and lived for approximately 12 hours due to underdeveloped lungs which is a common complication of the disease.
As it turned out, one of Jen’s long time close friends’ first daughter is also affected by ARPKD but is doing very well. She proceeded to have two unaffected children through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and is expecting her third. In addition to providing emotional support during Jen’s pregnancy, she was also able to provide education and guidance on how to have future healthy children through IVF utilizing PGD. She introduced the St. Aubins to Dr. Eve Feinberg, founder of The Life Foundation, and they began the genetic testing and IVF process several months after Sophie passed away. With the help of IVF and PGD, Jen became pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Sadie Kathryn St. Aubin was born on October 3, 2016. She was an absolute incredible blessing. Jen and Pete had two frozen unaffected and chromosomally normal embryos left and decided to try another transfer nine months after Sadie was born. Jen and Pete are expecting another healthy baby girl in April 2018.
The “Sophie St. Aubin – PGD for Life” grant is Jen and Pete’s way of keeping Sophie’s memory alive and celebrating the legacy her DNA helped to create: Sadie Kathryn and her soon-to-be second little sister. Jen and Pete are deeply grateful for the technology that exists today to be able to perform IVF/PGD and the dedication of their wonderful reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Feinberg. Jen and Pete’s hope in funding this grant is that they can help another couple that is impacted by a genetic disorder to experience the joy of having a healthy family.