Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim October 2014 as Spina Bifida Awareness Month in the State of New York

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  • 09 / Jan / 2014
  • 14 / Jan / 2014
  • 14 / Jan / 2014

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to
proclaim October 2014 as Spina Bifida Awareness Month in the State of
New York

WHEREAS, It is the custom of this Legislative Body to recognize official
months that are set aside to increase awareness of serious health
concerns that affect the lives of citizens of New York State; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, it is the sense of this Legislative Body to memori-
alize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim October 2014 as Spina Bifida
Awareness Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with National
Spina Bifida Awareness Month; and
WHEREAS, Every day, approximately eight babies are born with Spina
Bifida, making it the most commonly occurring, permanently disabling
birth defect in the nation; literally, it is translated as "split
spine"; and
WHEREAS, Today, nearly 166,000 men, women and children in the United
States are living with Spina Bifida, which occurs when a baby's spinal
column fails to close properly during fetal development; and
WHEREAS, It is not known for sure what causes Spina Bifida; scientists
believe genetic and environmental factors act together to cause the
condition; and
WHEREAS, The different types of Spina Bifida include: Occult Spinal
Dysraphism (OSD); Spina Bifida Occulta; Meningocele; and Myelomeningo-
cele (Meningomyelocele), also called Spina Bifida Cystica; and
WHEREAS, A child with Meningomyelocele is commonly operated on within
two to three days of birth; this prevents infections and helps save the
spinal cord from more damage; and
WHEREAS, A child with OSD should see a surgeon; most experts believe
surgery is needed early to keep nerves and the brain from becoming more
damaged as the child grows; and
WHEREAS, Women who are old enough to have babies should take folic
acid before and during the first three months of pregnancy in an effort
to prevent Spina Bifida; because half of the pregnancies in the United
States are unplanned, the Spina Bifida Association asks women to take a
vitamin with 400 mcg (0.4 mg) of folic acid each day during the years of
their lives when they are possibly able to have children; and
WHEREAS, Folic acid is a vitamin the body needs to grow and be heal-
thy; it is found in many foods, but the man-made or synthetic form in
pills is actually better absorbed by our bodies; and
WHEREAS, Children and young adults with Spina Bifida can have mental
and social problems; they can also have problems with walking and
getting around or going to the bathroom, latex allergy, obesity, skin
breakdown, gastrointestinal disorders, learning disabilities,
depression, tendonitis and sexual issues; and
WHEREAS, People with Spina Bifida must learn how to get around on
their own without help, by using crutches, braces or wheelchairs; with
help, it is also possible for children to learn how to go to the bath-
room on their own; and
WHEREAS, Doctors, nurses, teachers and parents should know what a
child can and cannot do so they can help the child, within the limits of
safety and health, be independent, play with kids that are not disabled
and take care of themselves; and
WHEREAS, There are three known tests that can be done to help detect
Spina Bifida before birth; a blood test during the 16th to 18th weeks of
pregnancy called the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP screening test); an ultra-
sound of the fetus which is also called a sonogram and can show signs of

Spina Bifida such as the open spine; and a maternal amniocentesis test
where a small amount of the fluid from the womb is taken through a thin
needle to look at protein levels; and
WHEREAS, With help, children with Spina Bifida can grow up and live
full lives; most do well in school, and many play in sports; and
WHEREAS, Because of today's medicine, approximately 90 percent of
babies born with Spina Bifida now live to be adults, about 80 percent
have normal intelligence, and roughly 75 percent play sports and partic-
ipate in other fun activities; and
WHEREAS, As type and level of severity differ among people with Spina
Bifida, each person with the condition faces different challenges and
may require different treatments; and
WHEREAS, The best way to manage Spina Bifida is with a team approach
which includes neurosurgeons, urologists, orthopedists, physical and
occupational therapists, orthotists, psychologists and medical social
workers; and
WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize indi-
viduals, and their families in New York State who live with this very
common, but little know birth defect; and
WHEREAS, Furthermore, the committed people associated with The Spina
Bifida Association of Greater Rochester should be commended for their
vital work and steadfast dedication; and
WHEREAS, It is imperative that there be greater public awareness of
this serious health concern, and more must be done to increase activity
at the local, State and national levels; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim October 2014 as Spina
Bifida Awareness Month in the State of New York; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


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