April 2019: Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Month

WHEREAS, a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a birth defect that happens early in fetal development causing a hole in an infant’s diaphragm, allowing organs to move through the hole from the abdomen into the chest, crowding the lungs, and ultimately may cause the infant’s lungs to be small and underdeveloped; and,

WHEREAS, since the year 2000, an estimated 700,000 babies worldwide have been born with CDH; and,

WHEREAS, 1,600 newborns are affected by CDH in the United States every year, and 40 newborns are born with CDH in Michigan; and while many children survive and thrive with CDH, only about half live to their first birthday; and,

WHEREAS, CDH is as common as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis, but is not as well-known; and,

WHEREAS, those with CDH often endure multiple surgeries and possible medical complications, which can include heart defects, breathing problems, feeding problems, developmental delays, and may need breathing and medicinal support for years; and,

WHEREAS, raising awareness of this birth defect will help bring about acceptance and support for those suffering with CDH and their families, and will lead to urgently needed research and medical advances;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim the month of April 2019 as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Month in Michigan.