March 2021: Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) is a rare and relatively unknown autoimmune disease that currently has no cure; and,


WHEREAS, NMO attacks the central nervous system and can cause lifetime disability, including permanent blindness and paralysis; and,


WHEREAS, the cause of NMO is unknown, and there are only a few approved treatments for the majority of patients with NMO and still no treatments for some patients with NMO; and,


WHEREAS, when mistaken for other diseases, treatments can exacerbate NMO symptoms; and,


WHEREAS, increasing awareness about NMO has caused NMO diagnoses to rise, as doctors have become more likely to recognize the varying manifestations of the disease; and,


WHEREAS, the NMO community is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about this disease in order to increase research, improve patient care and outcomes, and ultimately find a cure;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 2021 as Neuromyelitis Optica Awareness Month in Michigan.