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WHEREAS, Pitt Hopkins syndrome is a rare and severe neurological disorder caused by a spontaneous mutation or deletion on the 18th chromosome; and
WHEREAS, Pitt Hopkins syndrome is characterized by developmental delays, moderate to severe intellectual disability, breathing problems, epilepsy or recurrent seizures, gastrointestinal issues, and distinctive facial features; and
WHEREAS, approximately 1,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with Pitt Hopkins syndrome, however, given the fact that the discovery of the gene occurred in 2007, there are likely many other cases that remain undiagnosed; and
WHEREAS, given its rarity, online support groups play a pivotal role for individuals, families, and their loved ones in order to connect and increase awareness; and
WHEREAS, the goal of Pitt Hopkins Syndrome Awareness Day is to raise awareness through the funding of research, education, and advocacy to hopefully find a cure; and
WHEREAS, September 18th was chosen to bring attention to the fact that this disorder originates in the 18th chromosome;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 18, 2021, as PITT HOPKINS SYNDROME AWARENESS DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.