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WHEREAS, the health and safety of all Virginians is important to the happiness, prosperity, and well-being of our Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, Rett syndrome is characterized by normal early growth and development, followed by a slowing of development resulting in the loss of purposeful hand movement, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability; and
WHEREAS, children with Rett syndrome have six to eighteen months of apparently normal development before developing severe problems with language and communication, learning coordination, and other brain functions; and
WHEREAS, Rett syndrome is almost exclusively found in females and affects an estimated one in 9,000 to 10,000 females; and
WHEREAS, those diagnosed with Rett syndrome require maximum assistance with daily living activities; and
WHEREAS, although there is no cure for Rett syndrome, there are a number of treatments that assist with the symptoms of the disorder, such as: regular medical care, medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, nutritional support, behavioral intervention, and support services; and
WHEREAS, Rettsyndrome.org is the world’s largest private source of funds for Rett syndrome research addressing the full spectrum of this developmental disorder while advocating to improve the quality of life for the patients and their families; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins with those recognizing Rett Syndrome Awareness Month to raise awareness to the medical community, therapists, teachers, caregivers, and the general public; and
WHEREAS, it is vital that Rett syndrome patients have access to quality, affordable care, and that research and funding of this tragic syndrome continues, as there is no known cure;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2019 as RETT SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.