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WHEREAS, gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal wall that causes the intestines to protrude from the abdomen; and
WHEREAS, 1 in 2229 babies are born with gastroschisis each year in the United States, but several studies show that recently this birth defect has become more common, particularly among younger mothers; and
WHEREAS, many Americans living with gastroschisis have serious and debilitating conditions, including slow growth, short bowel syndrome, multiple organ transplants, and long term feeding issues; and
WHEREAS, the causes of gastroschisis remain largely unknown, and more research is needed; and
WHEREAS, Avery’s Angels Gastroschisis Foundation (AAGF) is a nonprofit that is dedicated to research, awareness, and support for patients and families affected by gastroschisis; and
WHEREAS, Gastroschisis Awareness Day serves as an opportunity to increase awareness about this issue and encourage further research;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize July 30, 2019, as GASTROSCHISIS AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.