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Ellie Kimmel
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Dear Mr. Wheaton, Hello. I found a very old blog post of your concerning your Maine Coon Sketch, whom you lost to HCM: http://www.wilwheaton.net/mt/archives/001782.php I am so sorry for your loss - HCM is a terrible disease from which Maine Coons disproportionately suffer. I am a pet-owner of two Maine Coons, both of whom are heterozygotes for the recently discovered MyBPC-3 genetic defect which causes HCM in Maine Coons. As a researcher by profession (though not in medicine), I have begun researching HCM in various lines of Maine Coons in an effort to correlate DNA status with clinical disease. The purpose of my research is private: I am merely seeking to trace current Maine Coons who are positive for the MyBPC-3 defect back through lines that may or may not have presented HCM in the past. I know it’s been a long time, but if you have them, I was wondering if you would be willing to give me the names of the parents & grandparents of Sketch? It is very helpful in studying HCM to have ancestral information on cats who might have had HCM - sometimes it is even possible to hazard a guess as to whether or not the cat might have been positive for the known defect (which was identified in 2005.) Any information you can provide would certainly be appreciated. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Breeders have better tools now to control HCM, but there is still much work to be done to eradicate this terrible disease. I am grateful that research continues on the genetic defects that can cause HCM in Maines. Hopefully, some day soon we will be able to screen genetically for HCM and thus sharply reduce the number of cases among Maine Coons (and other breeds including domestics as well.) Sincerely, Ellie Kimmel Charleston, SC, USA Ekimmel43@yahoo.com
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Jul 28, 2011