Brandon Dahley’s Life Story Chapter 3

July 1993

Brandon at 3 months

Summertime with you was full of new experiences. Like swimming, which you weren’t too crazy about, and plenty of softball games. Your dad played in a summer league, so you spent multiple nights a week watching, at least for part of the game, and cheering him on. You were by far the best dressed at the ballfield, outfitted in your very own team uniform. Everyone knew you were rooting for Coppens Brigade (your Dad’s team) of course!

Mom and Dad had several weddings to attend in July and August, which meant you spent the night at your grandparents’ on several occasions. Although we always called multiple times to check-in on you, we were never anxious about leaving you overnight with either set of grandparents. We certainly were blessed to have most of our family living so close, in the same town as us, at the time.

You melted our hearts every time we walked in the door as you gave us one of your great big smiles.

Smiles 2
Brandon smiles

You turned 3 months old on your Mom’s 25th birthday! We got dressed up and celebrated together with the rest of the family that evening after work. Having you there with us was the best birthday gift this mom could ask for!

Brandon sitting up

Now for the educational part of my message…In most cases of SCID the problem occurs when there is a mistake in the genes that are passed down from the parents to the child. Genes are found in cells and serve as the instructions, or recipe, to make all the different parts to your body. This is also the case in our family. As your mom, I unknowingly passed the defective gene down to you. I say unknowingly, because it wasn’t until after your death that we learned from a geneticist that I was a carrier of the disease. Because your form of SCID is X-linked, and females have two X chromosomes, my normal X gene carried out the role and ultimately prohibited the abnormal gene from expressing, so I do not have the disease.

At this point in your development, there still wasn’t a single indicator that there was anything genetically wrong with you and your immune system. We now know that you were functioning and surviving off the antibodies I had passed on to you through the umbilical cord. Those antibodies, passed down from the mother of any infant, generally die off around age six months. So, at 3 months we were still in our world of happiness and bliss over you!