WHEREAS, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and its chronic counterpart, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), are rare, paralyzing disorders of the peripheral nervous system, the cause of which is unknown; and
WHEREAS, GBS and CIDP are characterized by the rapid onset of weakness and paralysis of the legs, arms, face, and breathing muscles, potentially leading to difficulty breathing, chewing and swallowing; and
WHEREAS, the course of GBS and CIDP varies widely; some experience a single episode of symptoms with spontaneous recovery, while others have repeated bouts with partial recovery in between relapses; and
WHEREAS, GBS or CIDP can develop in any person, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic background; and
WHEREAS, in 1980, the Guillain-Barre Support Group, now the GBS/CIDP Foundation International, was founded to provide a support network for patients and their families through the national office headquartered in Philadelphia and its 160 chapters in 47 countries with more than 30,000 patient members worldwide; and
WHEREAS, raising public awareness of this disease can result in earlier diagnosis, improved medical treatment, increased research, and better access to quality health care;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2019 as GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME AND CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEMYELINATING POLYNEUROPATHY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.