NEW YORK — It’s hard to imagine anyone more shocked than Elizabeth B. and Tom G., two brothers who grew up in a world without dimples, who are now at the center of an investigation that has some wondering if the genetic disorder is actually a good thing.
In an interview, Tom said the dimples were something that were part of his heritage and that it didn’t matter what color they were.
“I’ve always thought that if I had a dimple, that it would make me special, that I would be special, and that people wouldn’t know,” Tom said.
Elizabeth B., who said she suffers from a rare genetic condition, said the condition is actually caused by an imbalance of the body’s hormones.
Her brother has dimples because he was born with one, which are shaped like two dots and are located in the upper lip and the lower part of the neck.
She said the family’s genealogy is mostly black and white and that the family doesn’t understand what other genes could be causing their dimples.
The Gays said that since their birth, they have had a lot of conversations about their genetic disorder.
When the family was younger, the parents were diagnosed with two conditions: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Their parents, who were diagnosed as having the same genetic condition and the same medical conditions, were both treated for it together, Elizabeth B., a dental hygienist, said.
But now, Elizabeth and Tom have no children with the conditions.
Their father, a veterinarian, said that although they are very lucky with their health, their condition is still very different from that of people with type 1 and type 1.
Tom said that their family members and doctors have never explained why they have dimples and that they feel like they were never treated like they have the other people with the condition.
“They’ve never really said, ‘It’s your dimples,'” Elizabeth B.’ said.
“We have no clue.”
Tom G., a geneticist, and Elizabeth B, a medical geneticist in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Rochester, have had the dimple disorder since childhood.
While Elizabeth and her brother were growing up, they had two identical brothers who both had dimples but one of them had Type 1 diabetes, and the other was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at an early age.
They said they thought dimples didn’t affect them as much as the diabetes did because of their family’s genetic background.
Because their parents had diabetes, they said, they were expected to take insulin.
But after a genetic test, doctors discovered that the dimpled region of their genes were indeed caused by a deficiency of the hormone insulin, according to an article in the New York Times.
In addition to diabetes, Elizabeth had multiple conditions that affect her immune system.
Her family has had multiple sclerosis and asthma, both of which are genetic disorders.
Then, after the twins were teenagers, the doctors discovered their parents’ conditions caused a condition called BRCA1-linked familial hyperplasia.
BRCA-2 is a mutation that causes abnormal cells to grow in the body and can cause other problems.
Although they didn’t have dimple at birth, Tom and Elizabeth said their parents developed it after they were diagnosed.
After having the condition, they realized they were both genetically predisposed to it.
“It was hard for them to go to a doctor and say, ‘I’ve got this problem and I’m not going to take my meds,’ but they just kept saying, ‘You know what?
I’m going to keep on taking my med.’,” Elizabeth B.-B., said.
When Elizabeth was diagnosed in 2005, Tom G. and his wife, Annabelle, had it too.
Both are now working to get their genetic information released to the public.
For now, they say they want to focus on their health and are hoping to find a cure.
If the twins’ story helps anyone else who is suffering from a genetic condition or is thinking about one, they want it to be acknowledged, Tom, now 70, said in an interview.
He said he doesn’t know how to explain the dimming disorder to people who aren’t as educated as he is.
“There’s a lot to learn about it, and it’s very hard for a person to understand how to deal with that,” Tom G.-B.
“I’m hoping that this will change people’s minds about this.”
For a copy of this article, please visit the New Yorker.com site.