June 10, 2018
This post is sponsored by 23andMe. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support MattieJames.com!
It’s always so funny to me how much I’m like my dad. We sneeze, smile and write the same. DNA is a trip.
I was named after my dad – his name is Matthew and they thought I was going to be a boy which they would’ve named Matt Jr. But instead I was a girl, so they just added an “ie” and named me Mattie. As a kid, I didn’t really like my name – but now I’m so appreciative of it. Especially because my name will always subconsciously honor my dad.
One of my favorite things about me is my handwriting which strangely I got from him as well. My father has amazing penmanship and in hindsight, I think it’s one of those things I tried to copy from him. It worked out in my favor.
Without question, I am a blogger because of my dad. Now to be fair, my dad is very much a disciplinarian and was pretty strict growing up. After all, most West African parents are. And even though I hated it when I was growing up, I’m pretty thankful he and my mom protected & prevented me from certain things when I was younger.
It’s funny because my sister and I always joke around about how African my dad is and how it makes him the way he is. I recently partnered with 23AndMe and we had the chance to take their Health + Ancestry Service which made our recent conversations pretty fun since I live in Atlanta and he lives in Raleigh.
The name 23andMe comes from human DNA having 23 pairs of chromosomes. 23andMe’s Personal Genetic Service was designed so you could understand your DNA in a simple and easy way including which regions your ancestors are from and how your DNA can affect your physical appearance, taste preferences, sleep quality and more.
Taking the test is super simple. What I liked about the kit is how uncomplicated it is. I wasn’t sure if it was a blood test or not. But it’s a saliva test. Just spit in a tube and send it in. The directions are plain & simple and packaged easily for you to send in your saliva sample.
I’m first American generation in a West African family, so I was expecting my West African ancestry numbers to be high. However, they were almost 100% which blew my mind. I am 98.7% Sub-Saharan African (98.4% West African) and Daddy is 99.8% Sub-Saharan African (99.7% West African). Insane. According to his ancestry results, this means one of his parents or grandparents (my grandparents or great grandparents) were 100% African.
While Daddy has no European ancestry, mine is 0.9% (with 0.3% of that being British & Irish). I’d be super interested to see my mom’s ancestry results. Thinking of having her, my husband and my in laws take one, so we can all compare our results!
What I like about 23andMe is that you can get both ancestry and health reports. So it can reveal information on whether or not you are likely to have certain traits (skin pigmentation, hair texture and even specific details like ring finger length ratio and photic sneeze reflex). Strangely enough, both me and Dad are likely to have photic sneeze reflex!
23andMe’s Health + Ancestry Service includes Genetic Health Risk* reports, that provide information about whether you carry genetic markers associated with risks for certain health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Celiac disease and more. They are not intended to diagnose any conditions. My report showed that I have a slightly increased risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (which Dad’s test revealed he does, too.) And while this is far from a diagnosis, just being in the know feels good.
If you’re interested in getting a 23andMeHealth + Ancestry service , you can purchase one here. (And there’s a 30% off Father’s Day offer until June 17.)
A huge thanks to 23andMe for sponsoring this post.
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