August, 2014: Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and muscle weakness due to the loss of motor neurons to the spinal cord; and,

WHEREAS, SMA is a genetically inherited disease with a wide range of severity that affects people of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds that even in its most moderate form, limits voluntary mobility and functions such as crawling, walking and head and neck movements; and,

WHEREAS, symptoms of SMA include difficulty breathing and feeding as an infant, frequent and increasingly severe respiratory infections and progressive weakness; with no cure, genetic counseling is recommended for prospective parents with a family history of SMA; and,

WHEREAS, during this month, we raise awareness of SMA in Michigan, and we encourage citizens to learn more about this disease, promote research toward a cure and support individuals with SMA living in Michigan;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 2014 as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month in Michigan.