About Mark

My name is Mark W. Leach. I am an attorney with a Master’s in Bioethics.

I have presented at international, national, regional, and local conferences for obstetricians, medical geneticists, genetic counselors, bioethicists, and Down syndrome support organizations. I have been published in professional journals, national and local newspapers, and on-line blogs. This blog is a continuation of my efforts to provide perspective and resources for informed decision making for those involved in the administration of prenatal testing for Down syndrome.

I serve in various volunteer capacities for several non-profit organizations devoted to providing education, support, and health care to individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. I am also a staff member with the National Center for Prenatal & Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources. All of the views expressed on this blog are entirely my own and should not be attributed to any organization with which I am associated.

My wife and I have two kids. My daughter is endowed with Down syndrome and my son is endowed with curly blond hair. We live in my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky.

In my spare time, I enjoy taking the family to watch our Triple-A baseball team, the Louisville Bats, handicapping the Kentucky Derby to various degrees of success depending on if Calvin Borel finishes in the money, catching live music at club-sized venues, and bourbon. I also try to buck the trend by not being an annoying UK basketball fan, but a fan nonetheless.

You can contact me via the comments on this blog, at mleach@downsyndromeprenataltesting.com, and by following me on Twitter.


  1. smsteele says:

    This is a fantastic site. Thank you. I hope you don’t mind me borrowing your term ‘endowed with Down Syndrome’, it’s so apropos. One of the best friends I have in this world is endowed with Down Syndrome and so very much more!

  2. Hi Mark my daughter and soon in law who are 27, were told today that the child they are expecting has downs…this is the only information they received from this test result….trisomy 21. (Risk)1/870. (Test) 99/100. All other tests were fine….can you please help. She is making herself sick she is so upset…thanks

    • Anne–none of the tests report a risk score of 99/100, or more accurately, they shouldn’t. I would refer your daughter to the posts here and here and the posts linked within them for her to understand that receiving a screen-positive result still means she has a better than 50% chance that it is a false positive.

  3. Catherine says:

    Thank you for this site. I am currently going through this nightmare of being told I have a 99% chance of a baby with DS – the results given to me by phone with no PPV given…and no resources. I am scheduled for an NT and then a CVS next week. In the meantime, I’ve been scouring the internet for information. It seems there is a lot of conflicting information about the accuracy of these tests. For now, thank you for providing information that helps to clarify the issues.

    • Catherine–I’m glad this site has been helpful and will continue to be helpful depending on your further test results. I hope those go well and you receive better information going forward.


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