2010 Shows

(Original Air Date: 12/02/09) If you could choose your baby’s sex, eye color and IQ, would you? What about injecting your short-statured child with human growth hormone to make him or her taller? Dr. Phil and a panel of guests on both sides of this debate discuss the pros and cons to customizing your perfect baby. Then, meet a couple living a parent’s worst nightmare. Aaron and Holly’s 5-year-old daughter, Kate, is critically ill with a malignant and aggressive brain tumor. Dr. Phil and his wife, Robin, drop in for a visit at this family’s home to offer advice about parenting a sick child and bring along some surprises. Plus, learn how to comfort someone in a similar situation and how you can help this deserving family.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: alphak555 on Feb 3, 2013, 9:13PM
With the opportunity for designer babies there would be a plethora of tall slim blonde women etc. For the next generation! I am so sick of the obsession with looks and how America is influencing our culture by being inundated with the media, tv, movies etc. that are portraying this belief!  When I went to America I found the people inauthentic and driven by money fame and looks! 

A huge problem that is definitely on the horizon is the number of people who have plastic surgery and whose looks are changed so much that when they have children you don't know what you will get or what features belong to what parent! We are attracted to certain people due to genetics and by changing our looks to such a degree the genetic pool is about to bedisrupted by false attraction to fake people!
Replied By: momburns on Mar 4, 2012, 6:55AM - In reply to chantel1234
my daughter is on growth hormones because of a genetic defect.  We have her on growth hormones with the expectation she will reach 4'10".  5 foot for her would be the ideal!!!
Replied By: tanyashankles on Aug 6, 2010, 8:15PM
I am certainly conflicted about this subject. I can see both sides of the road here, as far as having 'custom babies'. I think this society is TOO 'give me I want it and I want it now' spoiled to having everything we want despite the cost. I believe that choosing a childs appearance is a little ridiculous. I totally feel like this is sending the message "you were not good enough before you were even born and the face that you would have been born with was not good enough for me."  On the other hand, I have a blonde blue eyed 13 year old daughter who has always been beautiful. I also have a 10 year old son (whom of course is beautiful too...) who has red hair, freckles, glasses, and crooked teeth. ( Lord please dont let him read this!) I, as his mother, hurt for him every time another child makes fun of him, or he cant see the board in class, or the dentist comments on his teeth. So half of me thinks, if I could have changed him, would I? I guess if there was a way for someone to tell me at the time of conception that your son will have terrible eyesight, and extremely crowded teeth, I would have opted to change that so that he didnt have to be tormented about it. But at the same time, nobody could have predicted these things, because my eyes and my husbands eyes are fine. None of us would choose for our children to be the focus of bullies or teasing. And most would probably do what it took to prevent it. However it doesnt matter what a child looks like, kids will ALWAYS find something to pick on whether its hair, clothes, the way they talk the way they act , what their parent said at the PTA meeting. I dont see paying a ton of money to someone to change what you dont even know will look like yet! Its like, I dont know what features you will have but I know they wont be up to standards, I want you to look like this and I will have what I want period. PLEASE! PEOPLE! I DO think that if there is a way for people to prevent cancer, or keep a child from physically suffering, then that is by far different. Of course we dont want our children to suffer. But I think all this altering genetics for the sole purpose of beauty is a little absurd and a lot selfish. Im not going to pretend to know all the details about the short debate as far as from a doctors point of view, but as a parent, I would try and point out the good qualities of being short. My mother was 4' 9" and 100 lbs and she embraced being short, she thought it was 'cute'. Who decided that short was a bad thing? Who decided for all of us that we needed to change the way we look to please other people?? It is the people who have a problem with short, tall, fat, thin, ugly, whatever that need to do the changing! Are we now going to start saying that 'little people' have no right to live because they are short? Or they have a right to live but they would be better if they were like the rest of us? That short people offend society so they should feel badly about their height? Shame on those who feel that way! No wonder kids make fun of each other on the playground!!!! WE ARE THEIR BIGGEST ROLE MODELS!! If we as adults are snickering and staring at someone because they are short, tall, black, white, purple, fat, or whatever, OF COURSE THE CHILDREN ARE GOING TO ALSO! It is a learned behaviour! You cant say "oh my gosh did you see that woman with no hair? and snicker, and then tell your child "you shouldnt make fun of others" you are lying to your kids and lying to yourself if you think that children will just say 'ok' and never make fun of other kids after watching their parents do it.. And please dont take this as self righteous., because I am guilty as well Im sure. We all know (ask dr. Phil) that kids learn what they see. and if we are telling our children "I want to change this about you" whether its height or hair color, they will grow up with that self consciousness wherever they go. The point is we need to come together for the betterment of all of us, look how long and hard the african-americans fought to be considered as equal, and treated as human beings. How much we have all changed over the years to accept people for who they are and not what they look like on the outside?? So much so that people like Michael Jackson felt he needed to change his skin color to be 'more attractive' and adopt white children. Are we all going back to that mentality?? That says the most important thing about someone is their skin color, hair color, height, weight, or looks? It is just as shameful and just as mortifying as racial prejudice to me. CAN I GET AN AMEN! (lol...sorry didnt mean to preach..)
Replied By: jerushad5 on Aug 6, 2010, 2:30PM
Dr. Phil,

Thank you for running this show. I can totally relate to what the McCrae's are going through. One day things are wonderful and then all of a sudden your world  comes crashing down with those few words "I'm sorry your child has cancer, leukemia in our case." Our healthy four year old went from being energetic to displaying flu-like symptoms we thought we would take him into the doctor get some mediccation and go home. Boy were we mistaken, he was admitted right away, Hickman catheter surgery the next morning and the Induction cycle of Chemotherapy would begin. I too remember him riding in my lap on the way to surgery. No way was I putting him in a bed, I wanted him near. The doctors understood.

I wanted him to come back the same way also but truth be told there is something to be said about your child, who is pure and innocent having surgery. I felt like he was not pure anymore, and then there was all of the drugs. No parent or child should have to go through this but unfortunately it is a reality. I met some wonderful people along the way from doctors, nurses and other parents. I also gained a greater understanding about my own strength and who I am as a person.

Children who are sick are so much stronger than us, they immulate a persona of strength, confidence, and pure love. One minute my son would be sick and the next he was energetic and making jokes. He could play music by ear and was very gifted. If you were to ask him how he was doing, no matter what it was always a resounding "Good".  He spent the last 7 months of his life in hospital and only complained about going "home" a few times. I remember one night as he and I prepared for sleep in his hospital room, he told me about God and Angels and how they were near and he was not afraid. I too thought could this be it, but it wasn't.

I wanted to reach through the TV and give Kate's mother a hug, an ear and a shoulder to lean on. There will be tough times for everyone. It affects the whole family and everyone is going through it, not just Kate. Her illness is the whole families illness and she will be the primary person for a while. I was lucky and my daughter was not selfish. She understood the nights away and the attention he got, however everyone must remember them and not just focus on the child as you do not want them to feel resentment towards that child.

Dr. Phil, your words of wisdom as to what to say were great. You should take the lead from that person. At times you do not want to talk about it and at others you just want the damn to open up and let someone feel the rushing water of emotions, frustrations, the highs and the lows. You may not not necessarily be looking for a response, it just means so much to have that person there. And yes, please do not say "you understand", unless you have walked the walk, refrain.

The McCrae's look like a wonderful couple and I pray that they can take care of each other and be there for one another in a way that is needed by each. Do the research, be on top of the records and be active in the care and treatment.

Kate looks like a wonderful, special little girl. I will keep her in prayer.

We fought the battle and nine months later we lost our son. The fight was long but we were there every step of the way. Then the next chapter started........  and it continues. You see life does not end it just changes. Its okay to smile, laugh and to resume your life but in your time...

Dr. Phil, should this family need a friend who has been there, I would like to offer my time in any way possible. We are few but too many, parents of children with cancer, so we must support one another.
Replied By: hallielane on Aug 6, 2010, 8:36AM - In reply to andreaelizabet
My son has been on growth hormone injections for a year and a half, he like your son has a hormone deficiency. He is 13 years old and has always been the smallest in his class, and even though he has always been very athletic, his size has always been an issue. Parents that have have children of normal size do not have to go through what we have went through, kids can be very cruel when a child is short  and they get picked on and called names. Its heartbreaking when your child comes home from school crying from being picked on. My son has grown 5 inches so far and we continue to see progress. I would never second guess the decision of putting my son on growth hormones!
Replied By: tntsal on Aug 5, 2010, 6:32PM
Dr Phil,
I am writing to thank you for educating society on how to speak with the parent of a seriously ill child.
Last year my 21 year old son was diagnosed with cancer.    As a parent the emotions you go through are huge.  The loving and supportive words from family would have and could have been the most comforting words to me.
I did not hear much from people in general... people did not know what to say or how to say it.  I received one card which I saved since it brought me so much comfort... It was from my daughters orthodontists office her brother  is my son with cancer and she mentioned it to her  orthodontist technician while in for an adjustment. The entire office signed it and wrote a very simple lovely note stating they did not know what it was like personally but were sympathetic and would keep our family in their thought's and prayers.  I cried and cried when I received this one card  I needed it so much.
For me and I am assuming many other parents with ill children what we need is to know people care. We need people to listen to our fears, listen to our stress.  Help us research a scary situation if needed.  Just be there as a friend.  
  Your words Dr Phil today were perfect  "don't say you understand because you don't"  do say lets sit  and talk tell me how your doing let me know what I can do?  How are you doing?   
I realize no one acted in the way they did to be mean they just had no idea how to express themselves to me.  I don't think they could have said much wrong to me though I just needed the cushioning  of loving words from friends and family .  And someone to listen to me cry, yell or even ramble on and on out of fear!

Thank you for educating society it was a great public service in my eyes!

My son is in remission now and I am thankful every day!   Life is good!  People now talk to me about it because they are not afraid knowing he is out of danger I am assuming!  People don't be afraid that makes the parents more afraid and more alone!!

Thanks again
Replied By: curedmd on Aug 5, 2010, 5:25PM
I feel that the only time this would be appropriate is when there is a genetic defect or disability that you want to ommit from your childs DNA to give them a better quality of life. I also believe that God gives us exactly what we are supposed to have & that if I would have "customized my child" I would have missed out on the one I have now, because even though he is disabled he is absolutely perfect & I thank God for him daily.
Replied By: clive_canhome on Aug 5, 2010, 4:42PM - In reply to valerimc
You are female. Prejudice for shortness is not to females. In fact, men usually prefer women who are at least shorter than they are. So, short women, no matter how short, is usually successful. The men on the other hand, in our society, is expected to be taller, stronger, bigger than the female. And women pick men who are as such and ignore shorter men.
Replied By: romerrill on Aug 5, 2010, 4:36PM
So very true!!   No one can ever know exactly how you feel because everyone is so different under these trials of living life and surviving a lost.   Dr. Phil hit a homer with us on a show many years ago.  A mother had lost her daughter in a horrific way.  She had been wilting away gradually over 10 years time and had basically ignored her living daughter.   HE SAID TO HER   "  YOU NEED TO CELEBRATE HER LIFE INSTEAD OF HOW SHE DIED!"   Well,  we had lost our 18 year old daughter in an auto accident and I had replayed that accident in my mind daily for almost a year. We have three other children and a new grandson which I hadn't been able to concentrate on so I thought about what our daughter had loved and enjoyed most in life-(helping the underdog and children). You see she had come to me 6 months prior to the accident and asked if we could do fostercare because the house was so quite now.   Our other children were away college and married.   Long story short her living legacy has been 82 fosterchildren and 2 adopted children over the last 10 years. I will always be thankful she shared with me.  After 41 years of marriage we are preparing for retirement(not from marriage), will will take our adopted boys( 7 and 5 years) on many of adventures and show them a love for life, that she has given to us.     Thank you Dr. Phil for all you do!      Rose
Replied By: clive_canhome on Aug 5, 2010, 4:30PM
Of coarse, when its parents speaking, many claim that nothing is wrong with their kid's height (or disability, in general). The reality lies with the short people themselves. Yes, some short people compensate their shortness with positive lifestyles and do well. But many of us actually do suffer longterm damage due to the social prejudices of being short -- in particular, short men. I'm tired of things like televisions coverage of issues like this, when they even exist, deflating the truth or trying to place some owness on the individual's character to bootstrap their personality to adjust to society. But this is like saying, if people treat you like you're gay, think you're gay, and think your personality is best as a gay person, then you should get with the program, and adjust to their social image of you and become gay!
I am not the shortest of people. I am 5' 5 1/2". But I and my twin brother have had little offers from woman compared to any guy who is even 4" taller. Even getting jobs has always been hard. You don't get chosen for any normal male-dominant jobs like construction, mining, or civil labour. And when you do get work, it's usually by those who exploit you because they know you are more desperate for a dollar than others.
Shortness is likely to be one of the main causes of suicides for men in most of the world. I personally knew a very short person years ago who shot himself when he momentarily went out with a girl whom he figured out was just feeling sorry for him. He threatened doing it but was not quite believed. She broke up with him and of course, he did it. I didn't know him at those particular times. I knew him a few years earlier as kids. So I can't comment completely on the situation. But I understood him. Everyone else condemned him for doing so.
I think if the profiles were statistically observed on certain behaviors, their would certainly be height determinant indicators. Not that shortness would predict the behaviour. Rather, the behaviour would predict someone being short. For instance, if you are an obnoxious male, the prediction may be that you are likely to be short. And these are not false stereotypes either. They are behaviours imposed by the general society.
I think it truly takes a realist for those parents who attempt to alter their children's height (or DNA) in order to keep their child from potentially suffering the consequences of social prejudices. We are constantly told from childhood that all dreams can come true. But for those of you who do not believe in altering things, you actually would say this but tell them to redefine the dream to be what society thinks they should be. If they happen to already coincide, they succeed. But for those of us who would like the same options as, say, a tall person (why are we not allowed such privillage?), then let us at least attempt to improve our odds of success. Also accept those parents who do this for their kids too.
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