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WHEREAS, the health and safety of all Virginians is important to the prosperity and well-being of our Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, in May 2007, Congress designated the third week of May as National Eosinophil Awareness Week through H.Res. 296; and
WHEREAS, the term “eosinophil-associated diseases” describes a group of diseases that cause elevated levels of eosinophils - a type of white blood cell associated with allergies, parasites, and cancer - in one or more specific places in the digestive system, tissues, organs or bloodstream, causing inflammation and damage; and
WHEREAS, 50:100,000 nationwide are stricken with eosinophilic esophagitis, and 11:100,000 are affected by eosinophilic colitis and eosinophilic gastroenteritis, and face challenges of lower quality of life with chronic illnesses; and
WHEREAS, Virginia residents should understand that this chronic illness can be life-threatening, causing inflammation of and damage to the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract; and
WHEREAS, eosinophil-associated diseases are chronic illnesses that significantly impact a person's quality of life and ability to attend school and work, and sometimes dramatically alter a person’s diet; and
WHEREAS, Virginia patients with eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases depend upon steroid treatment, dietary alterations, and amino-acid based formula orally or via feeding tubes; and
WHEREAS, increased public awareness of eosinophil-associated diseases can result in earlier diagnosis, better medical treatment, research, and access to quality health care; and
WHEREAS, National Eosinophil Awareness Week is an appropriate time to recognize the Commonwealth’s dedicated health professionals who tirelessly treat those with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 20-26, 2018, as NATIONAL EOSINOPHIL AWARENESS WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.