A “three-person baby” may be Alice Gibson’s only hope of having a child.
The 28-year-old, who married her partner Peter last year, has always planned to have children.
“I think it’s pretty normal, you kind of picture yourself together, having a family. We talk a lot about what kind of parents we want to be, or how we want to bring up people,” says Alice.
The pair have been together for six years, but a few months ago she was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
“I don’t know exactly what type I have at the moment, which is why I have to have genetic testing, and that will let me know if I have a type I can pass on, or won’t pass on, to any future children,” she tells Mamamia.
Mitochondrial disease (or mito disease) is a debilitating genetic disorder that robs the body’s cells of energy, causing multiple organ dysfunction or failure and potentially death.
Most patients have a genetic mistake or mutation in the mitochondrial or nuclear DNA.
The condition can be inherited from the mother, the father or both parents, or can arise as a spontaneous genetic mistake at conception.
Alice had already experienced a couple of serious bouts of pain leading up to diagnosis.
"Just over a year ago, the pain came back and just wouldn’t go away. For me, it started through my joints, and moved into my muscles and through my whole body. So basically, I have pain every day, and weakness and fatigue," says Alice.