Welcome back to season 5! Today I have the privilege of welcoming Alesia a retired nurse, Army veteran, blog writer, and creator and CEO of NPE (Not Parent Expected) Nurses (NPEN), a brand new resource center for people with an NPE (non-paternity event). NPEN is staffed by a collective of registered nursing professionals volunteering to support the needs of those navigating DNA surprise. Together, her team of nurses, many with their own personal experience of an NPE event, work to identify and understand the unique interests and needs of NPE clients as an NPE event can be deeply unsettling and lead to a profound identity crisis. Don’t worry, we will explore what all of that means today in the show. Besides NPEN, Alesia has co-founded two nonprofits in her pioneering work with NPEs and remains a leading advocate for those impacted by a DNA surprise. Her service on behalf of this community includes education, genealogical research, networking and the provision of informed emotional support. In addition, she has created online private groups that have reached people in the 1000’s.
Alesia’s own experience with a commercial DNA kit in 2014 resulted in severe shock when she discovered that the man who’d raised her was not her genetic father. Learning the identity of her biological father took four long years of research, and the news that he’d passed away years before her discovery will always be a profound source of sorrow for her. After connecting with her genetic family, she learned that four relatives had suffered from brain tumors much like her own. Had she known she had this genetic predisposition, her doctors could have diagnosed her tumor much sooner. Spurred by her intimate knowledge of the harm done by genetic deceit, Alesia has proposed and fought hard for broad-based fertility fraud legislation. Such bills have been introduced in multiple states; Iowa is the first to pass one into law.
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