The Designer Baby

This story is filled with tons of mixed emotions, from happiness to sadness and everything in between, so please grab your tissues before proceeding.
Kate Fitzgerald is a fifteen-year-old girl with cancer, diagnosed as a toddler, and months of battling kidney failure. Anna is her genetically designed little sister. And then there is Jesse, their dyslexic brother. Growing up, they were a normal family, or so Anna thought, until she found out that her parents had decided to “create” a “perfect match” child in a Petri dish to try and keep 8-year-old Kate alive. Sara quits her job as a lawyer to take on 24/7 care for Kate and the family, but mostly Kate, while Brian works as a firefighter. Nobody’s life will ever be the same.
Furthermore, Anna wonders if she would be alive if Kate wasn’t sick. Kate has an episode and expresses her wishes to her parents. Leading 11-year old Anna to make the difficult, yet logical decision to sue her parents, Sara and Brian, for the rights to her own body, better known as being emancipated.
Previously, to hiring Campbell as her attorney, Anna finds out all of the medical procedures Sara, her mother, forced upon her since birth. “I’m a designer baby,” Anna tells Campbell. Campbell begins flipping the pages of Anna’s medical records as he begins reading some of these medical procedures. They range from umbilical cord blood from the moment she was born to many blood withdrawals and several bone marrow extractions, and having at least eight hospitalizations over her entire life time. But of course, ice cream makes everything better when you are four years old kicking and screaming, right? Anna knows the pros and cons of not donating her kidneys to Kate.
As Kate continues to go through chemotherapy at the hospital, she meets a boy named Taylor. Taylor also has cancer. The more chemo sessions they had together, the more they fell in love. Together they dated and were very happy. They also attended a prom like dance at the hospital, but they ended up sneaking out and happily making their way into an empty room on an empty bed. A few days later after not seeing or hearing from Taylor, the hospital staff notifies Sara and Kate of Taylor’s passing. Kate breaks. And Sara is in denial of Kate dying.
Unfortunately, as Kate lies in the hospital bed, she is thin and frail. She is beautiful, even with her scarfs around her cold, bald head, she still smiles. Everything about her is tender. Kate knows about Anna’s emancipation decision, because it was her idea, she wants to die. “I don’t mind that my disease is killing me, but it’s killing my family,” Kate thinks to herself.
While the family is gathered in the hospital, surrounded around Kate and in front of Anna, Sara is served. Sara was furious, but Brian understood all of Anna’s reasonings and couldn’t blame her at all. Kate soon passes. Anna and Campbell end up winning the emancipation case.
Although Anna and Kate both made difficult decisions, the one I would like to focus on is Anna’s. I could not imagine how she felt when she found out that she was made to save someone else’s life, sister or not. Anna was scared to go against her parents and sue them, but she was doing it for Kate, and herself. Kate told her to do it and she wanted to make sure that her sister had the freedom she had always dreamed of and deserved. I think Anna was very courageous for what she did as an 11-year-old. In the end Anna did what was she thought was best for everyone involved. Anna truly was her sister’s keeper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *