A few weeks after her second birthday, Lauren Stannard had a nervous moment.
The 22-year-old from Colorado had just gotten her first son, a boy called Matthew.
But she was still feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of her new life.
Her mother, Julie, had told her the baby would be born by cesarean section, and her dad had promised to give her an expensive baby bag.
But after Matthew’s birth, Julie became worried.
The baby had a birth defect.
Lauren had no idea what it was, and she didn’t want to know what happened.
The birth was so difficult that Lauren and Julie were scared they’d lose their house and have to leave.
So they went to the emergency room and found out it was a genetic disease.
But the doctors couldn’t help but feel that Lauren needed to get some help.
The pediatrician told them it could be a rare condition that could be treatable with standard treatment, and it would take three months to get the gene-edited version of the gene in her body.
So Lauren took her son home and began the process of getting the gene therapy.
Lauren said she was glad she’d found the genetic-testing company that specializes in treating rare diseases like the one she was dealing with.
“I feel like it was just the right thing to do, because my life wasn’t going to change if I didn’t,” Lauren said.
But, even though the company was working to help her, Lauren was still hesitant about the cost.
She was worried she wouldn’t be able to afford the therapy and had no plans to be financially independent in the future.
But a few weeks later, Lauren got an unexpected call from her doctor.
“My doctor was telling me this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Lauren recalled.
She knew what her insurance would cover.
Lauren told her she’d need to take the test.
But her doctor didn’t ask if she wanted to take it on a free trial basis, or if she’d be able a few more days.
He simply asked if Lauren was willing to pay the full $1,500 for the test and two years of the treatment.
After a few months of waiting, Lauren finally had the test, and within days, she was pregnant.
The procedure had saved her life.
“It was an amazing experience, and I’m very thankful for it,” she said.
Lauren Stannaard has three children, and while she said she’s happy with the experience, she still feels a little apprehensive about how it will affect her future financially.
But it didn’t affect her at all.
“At least not financially,” she told The Washington Free Beacon.
“And it’s a little different now because we don’t have to worry about what my kids will be like when they grow up.”
Lauren is one of several families who have been treated for genetic defects with a gene-editing company, but she said the experience has helped her prepare for her next life.
She’s confident her new baby will be a perfect match for his genes, and that he’ll be the perfect man for her.
But what about the future?
“The question I always have is, can we do this for all our children?” she said, laughing.
“We’re still waiting for the gene, and hopefully it’ll come through eventually.”