Corah’s mum backs three-person IVF to prevent genetic transfer of disease

Lisa Slaney and her daughter Corah.
Lisa Slaney and her daughter Corah.

Members of the House of Lords will decide today (Tuesday) whether to allow three person IVF treatment to prevent the transfer of Mitochondrial Disease.

Kirkby teenager Corah Slaney was diagnosed with the debilitating disease and now her mum is backing plans for the pioneering treatment to go ahead.

Mitochondrial transfer involves transferring a mother’s genes to a donor egg - without the devastating effects this genetic abnormality can cause in children.

This comes after MPs voted in favour of the procedure three to one last month - and if is given the go-ahead the UK will be the first country to allow the creation of a baby from three people.

Mum Lisa Slaney, of Victoria Road, said she hoped the decision would be passed.

“It would be brilliant if this was a possibility for people. It won’t effect me personally now as Corah already has the disease but we are currently being genetically tested to see if we passed it onto Corah.”

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“But also have two sons who have children so it could have been passed on to them. So if they wanted children this would mean they could use this treatment to prevent the transfer of this condition.

“If it can prevent them going through the devastation we have, then it is something that should be an option for families,” she added.

Scientists at Newcastle University pioneered the unique mitochondrial transfer technique. It means a baby would inherit all 20,000 genes from its mother that determine characteristics including height and hair colour.

But would also inherit 37 genes from the donor that are found in the mitochondria, the batteries that fuel almost every cell in the human body.

“Some people have lost seven babies to this disease, so if they are able to have a healthy baby then I think it’s fantastic,” Mrs Slaney said.

Speaking at the House of Commons earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We’re not playing god here, we’re just making sure that two parents who want a healthy baby can have one.”

It is estimated 150 three-person babies could be born each year.

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