April, 2014: Fabry Disease Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Fabry disease is a rare, progressive, destructive, and life-threatening inherited genetic disorder that causes children and adults to suffer a cascade of life-altering and life-threatening symptoms. Such as pain, inability to perspire, intolerance to heat and exercise, unexplained fevers, chronic gastrointestinal upset, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, and excessive school and work absences. It progresses to include hearing loss, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, and other symptoms. It often causes premature death in adults due to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure; and

WHEREAS, Fabry disease is caused by deficient activity of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A that causes insufficient breakdown of lipids. Lipids build up to harmful levels in the body causing lysosomal and cellular dysfunction; and

WHEREAS, there is an approved treatment for Fabry disease that must reach people who know they have Fabry disease as well as thousands of people who have not yet been diagnosed. Fabry disease is severely under-recognized and misdiagnosed. When diagnosed, it is often too late coming after irreversible organ damage occurs. Increased physician and family education are critical to increase disease recognition; and

WHEREAS, the most common estimate of classic Fabry disease incidence is 1 in 50,000 males and 1 in 25,000 symptomatic females. However, recent newborn screening studies suggest there may be many more people with Fabry disease; and

WHEREAS, an enzyme assay test for males and molecular DNA test for females can confirm Fabry disease. Together, we can raise awareness to fight this tragic but treatable disorder.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April, 2014, as Fabry Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.