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WHEREAS, heterotaxy syndrome is a congenital condition that affects the development, placement, and presence of internal organs including the heart, liver, lungs, intestines, and spleen; and
WHEREAS, heterotaxy syndrome affects many body systems and requires a team of many specialists for treatment; and
WHEREAS, mortality of those with heterotaxy is high, but, due to lack of tracking and research, the exact numbers are unclear; and
WHEREAS, the exact cause of heterotaxy is not known, but several genetic links are currently being explored by researchers; and
WHEREAS, funding for research and holistic treatment for heterotaxy syndrome is low; and
WHEREAS, Heterotaxy Syndrome Awareness Day provides an opportunity for families who have been affected to celebrate life and to remember loved ones lost, to honor dedicated health professionals, and to meet others and know they are not alone; and
WHEREAS, Heterotaxy Syndrome Awareness Day also provides the opportunity to share experience and information with the public and media in order to raise awareness about heterotaxy syndrome;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 4, 2018, as HETEROTAXY SYNDROME AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.