A family doctor shares a mother and father s determination to save their son This story of a father s search to find a diagnosis, and ultimately a cure, for his son s mystery disease is an inspiration that has set the world of genetic medicine and research abuzz with the possibilities for the future. After Cracking the Code screened on Australian Story Stephen Damiani and his extraordinary ordinary family, have been inundated with messages of support for Mission Massimo. Stephen has a background in construction economics and risk management. He teamed with geneticist Ryan Taft to map his family's genome in an attempt to discover the cause of his son's illness and in the process developed a diagnostic tool that will revolutionise diagnoses and treatments of diseases as complex and rare as Massimo s leukodystrophy to widespread diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Previously, trying to find a specific gene mutation that might be responsible for a disease was a million times harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Stephen s suggestion that Ryan align the genomes, or DNA blueprints, of himself, his wife Sally as well as Massimo, to
Leah Kaminsky (Author) Leah Kaminsky is an award-winning physician and writer. She is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia and Online Editor at Hunger Mountain. She conceived and edited Writer, M.D., an anthology of contemporary doctor-writers. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and was shortlisted in the Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Writing Competition. Leah has been the Damianis physician since Massimo was born and was the first person to be alerted to the fact that there was some kind of problem when he was an infant. Stephen Damiani (Author) Stephen Damiani has a broad commercial background across industry sectors and geographies and more recently in his own start-up businesses. Stephen has no college level medical training but has had to learn much about genetics and bioinformatics over the past five years, since his son Massimo showed signs of having some rare form of Leukodystrophy. He is very keen to see the promise of the human genome project delivering diagnostic and therapeutic benefits over the next decade. Stephen recently established the Mission Massimo Foundat
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