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Testing for Relief

Sally Christenson thought she hadn't inherited the same mutation as her mother and brother that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy until she collapsed in her living room, she tells Minneapolis-St. Paul's KARE.

Even with her family history, doctors thought she had avoided the condition because they couldn't detect it with traditional tests, KARE adds. That changed after Christenson had a heart attack.

In addition to getting a defibrillator implanted, Christenson tells KARE that she also sought genetic testing for her and her children. She adds that she wanted to whether her sons were also at risk.

While some people seeking genetic testing worry about the insurance and other ramifications of the results, Christenson says that, for her, "[i]t was a no-brainer. I didn't care about anything else, because I just didn't want to have to worry about them." Testing, KARE adds, revealed that neither of her two sons inherited the mutation.

"To know that they don't have it and have to worry, it's life changing," Christenson tells the station.