April, 2015: Fabry Disease Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Fabry disease is a rare, progressive, destructive, and potentially life-threatening inherited genetic disorder that causes children and adults to suffer a cascade of symptoms such as pain, reduced or inability to perspire, unexplained fevers, intolerance to heat and exercise, chronic gastrointestinal upset, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression; and

WHEREAS, This disease may also lead to hearing loss, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, and other symptoms and 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 which can result in harmful buildup of lipids in the body and lysosomal and cellular dysfunction; and

WHEREAS, there is an approved treatment, but this disease is severely under-recognized and misdiagnosed, and when diagnosed it is often after irreversible organ damage has occurred; and

WHEREAS, Fabry disease is inherited in an X-linked manner and is estimated to occur in about 1 in 40,000 to 60,000 males. As many as twice this number of females may be affected but with more varied symptoms than males.

WHEREAS, Pilot programs in the U.S. and newborn screening studies in other countries suggest there are likely many times more people with Fabry disease than current incidence rates indicate; and  

WHEREAS, Health care providers and families should be aware of Fabry disease symptoms and should know that, if suspected, an enzyme assay test for males and molecular DNA test for females can confirm this treatable disorder.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2015, as Fabry Disease Awareness Month in Michigan.