Resolution J2747-2013

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



  • Jan 14, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Jan 9, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE


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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