October 2015: Spina Bifida Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs within the first month of pregnancy resulting in an incomplete closure of the spinal column, thus creating an opening, or lesion, on the spinal column; and,

WHEREAS, every woman of childbearing age, about 65 million in the United States, has a chance of giving birth to a child with Spina Bifida; and,

WHEREAS, one in every 1,500 babies in the United States is born with Spina Bifida every year, including an estimated 47 Michigan babies; and,

WHEREAS, 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, taken as a daily vitamin supplement before and during pregnancy, prevents up to 70 percent of neural tube defects including Spina Bifida; and,

WHEREAS, despite great strides, Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States resulting in varying degrees of disability and challenges; and,

WHEREAS, advances in lifelong care and treatment mean more individuals with Spina Bifida are living longer, participating in their communities, working and living independently; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services joins with women of childbearing age, families raising children with Spina Bifida and affected adults in increasing knowledge, awareness, understanding and resources;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2015 as Spina Bifida Awareness Month in Michigan.