DNA Memorial Allows Families To Store Genetic Makeup In Hopes Of Fighting Diseases

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A Central Ohio funeral home is offering a new service to families who want to preserve a loved one’s DNA.

It's called a DNA memorial. It is a place where a sample of a deceased person's genetic makeup is stored and preserved in hopes of helping surviving family members fight potential life-threatening diseases. 

”If my grandfather had heart disease and my father had heart disease, we know I’m at higher risk,” explains Michael Schoedinger of Schoedinger Funeral Homes.   “But now they can actually get more scientific, that they had this certain DNA or gene and therefore my likelihood is even greater."

DNA played a role in a decision made by Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy in 2013.  Doctors determined the actress carried a cancer gene and there was a four in five chance she would develop breast cancer, the same disease that killed her mother.

Schoedinger says he collects DNA from a person that has died and can give it to the family of the person who has died or they keep it at their home.  They can also send them to a lab for permanent storage.

Besides the DNA memorial being put in a vial, there's also the more costly crystal remembrance where a portion of a person's cremated remains and their DNA are interweaved with a swirl of color in a glass piece of art.

"This is a brand new concept that Schoedinger has just rolled out in the last 30 days, so we don't have a person that has gone through this yet, but I suspect as familiarity increases, more and more people will want to do it,” Schoedinger said.

The cost for a DNA memorial runs between $600-$1400.