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WHEREAS, Fabry disease is an inherited disorder that results from the buildup of globotriasylceramide (a particular type of fat) in the body’s cells; and
WHEREAS, Fabry disease is caused by deficient activity of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-galactosidase A that results in buildup of lipids in the body causing cell and organ damage; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of Fabry disease include pain, particularly in the hands and feet, clusters of small, dark red spots on the skin called angiokeratomas, a decreased ability to sweat, cloudiness or streaks in the front part of the eye, problems with the gastrointestinal system, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss; and
WHEREAS, Fabry disease also involves potentially life-threatening complications such as progressive kidney damage, heart attack, and stroke; and
WHEREAS, Fabry disease affects an estimated 1 in 40,000 to 60,000 males, and although the disorder occurs in females, the prevalence is unknown; and
WHEREAS, there are two approved treatments available but because the disease is severely under-diagnosed, many people live without an accurate diagnosis or opportunity for treatment until after irreversible organ damage occurs; and
WHEREAS, health care providers and families should be aware of the many Fabry disease symptoms and if warranted, obtain a GLA gene test that can definitively assess the presence of this treatable disorder;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2020 as FABRY DISEASE AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.