December 14, 2017 04:57 am CST
Will This Story Change Your Life?
By Alex Koyfman, Wealth Daily


You read lots of dramatized stories in the popular media — stories that could be true, that are true in parts, or that are really multiple stories cobbled together, with the facts and characters mixed and matched to suit the writer’s goals.

This isn’t one of those.

This story is true. It’s terrifying. And like the best stories out there, it ends with a twist.

The main supporting characters of this story are a husband and wife... we’ll call them Fred and Claire, just to keep things simple and confidential (the only fictional aspect of what you’re about read).

As a 41 year old who had had multiple miscarriages over the course of her marriage, Claire was well into the high-risk category of prospective mothers.

And as such, Claire and Fred made sure to take all of the precautions available to modern medical science to ensure that this pregnancy — almost certainly their last chance to have a child — was monitored and controlled.

The first two trimesters went normally. Normal development, nothing unusual in any of the tests, strong heartbeat, strong brain function.

Dreams Take a Horrific Turn

But in the eighth month of pregnancy, their nightmares resurfaced.

After noticing some abnormalities, Claire’s OBGYN sent her for a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS — a procedure that involves taking samples from the placenta.

Those samples were then analyzed on a chromosomal level to test for one of the most feared of fetal diseases: Down’s syndrome.

The results confirmed the couple’s worst fears.

The unborn child was diagnosed with Edwards syndrome, a disorder caused by the presence of an extra 18th chromosome.

The image below isn't easy to look at — but it's exactly what thousands of new parents have to live with every year. 

edwards

Statistically, Edwards syndrome only strikes once in 6,000 live births — but for Claire, already a high-risk mother because of her age and reproductive history, that risk factor was far higher.

Edwards syndrome has a very low rate of survival. Only 1% of children suffering from this disease survive past the age of 10.

The median lifespan is between one and two weeks.

No Good Way Out

Typically, to prevent undue suffering and potential complications to the mother, fetuses diagnosed with Edwards are terminated.

Claire and Fred, already well experienced with the heartbreak of miscarriage, decided not to take the risk.

They resolved to terminate the pregnancy. The procedure was scheduled. The arrangements were made.

They prepared themselves emotionally to deal with the aftermath.

But then something unexpected happened...

A new, experimental prenatal test was offered to the couple.

Doubtful and still traumatized by the diagnosis, Fred and Claire took as much time as possible to make their decision, but finally, they resolved to allow this experimental procedure to be carried out.

Noninvasive and easy to administer, this new analysis was still a burden for the couple, who had worked hard to manage their expectations and steel themselves for an outcome that was all but guaranteed.

Only it wasn’t guaranteed.

Three days after the test was administered — just two days before the scheduled termination of the pregnancy — doctors came back with news that brought Fred to his knees.

The baby that had been condemned to a prenatal death by a standard and accepted medical evaluation didn’t have Edwards syndrome.

In fact, the baby didn’t have anything at all.

Several weeks after receiving the best news of their lives, Claire gave birth to a healthy boy.

The tragedy averted wasn’t just as simple as a misdiagnosis. The couple, working with the best information they had, would have had to live with the knowledge that they’d killed a perfectly healthy baby — only after the fact.

But this didn’t happen.

Lives, Not Statistics

If you think the terrifying scenario Claire and Fred had to go through is unusual, you’re wrong.

False positives for diseases like Down’s, Edwards, and a list of other birth defects happen much more often than most of us realize.

As many as one in 10 traditional CVS or amniotic fluid analyses end in false positives, leading to untold numbers of unwarranted abortions and immeasurable stress on parents.

Some will blame doctors, but the fact is, technology always has its limitations. Up until now, what we had available was the best that technology could give us.

Today, however, all of that is changing — and with it, all future generations will benefit from more accurate, more certain answers to some of life’s most difficult questions.

I heard this story just a few days ago while sitting in a conference hall, listening to a presentation by the CEO of a small biotech company — the very same company that created and patented the test that saved Claire’s pregnancy.

What the CEO said in the 15 minutes following that story mattered little.

How potentially profitable this company was didn’t matter.

How big the potential customer base was didn’t matter.

How much shareholders stood to make in the coming years as this test became more and more standard didn’t matter.

What stuck with me was the image of Claire and Fred getting the best news of their lives.

The company behind this incredible innovation is called CombiMatrix Corp. It's a very small ($20 million market cap) public company trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol CBMX.

Its future, like the future of Claire and Fred’s son, has never been brighter... but that’s not the last thought I want to leave you with.

Miracles Happen Every Day... When They're Allowed To

Companies of this size are often disregarded, overlooked, or quickly forgotten by investors. But it’s companies just like this that often make the groundbreaking innovations like the kind I just described.

People call them microcaps or penny stocks, often dramatically understating the importance of the work they do.

That, however, is changing today, as companies of this size get more exposure to potential investment money than ever before.

Last fall, I launched an investment advisory service aiming to right this wrong once and for all.

It focuses on small but potentially world-changing companies in the very early stages of their life cycles, carefully analyzed, profiled, and described to readers in the most objective terms possible.

Investing like this isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s for the relatively few.

Those who take the chance on firms like CombiMatrix accept risk, but often enough, not only do they profit, but they also help some of the world’s most important technological advancements span the chasm between theory and practice.

Take a few minutes and listen to the following presentation. Once it’s over, your concept of early-stage companies may change forever.

It’s free, and access is instant. Just click here.

Fortune favors the bold,

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Alex Koyfman

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