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WHEREAS, syringomyelia is a disease that causes cysts to form inside the spinal cord, resulting in damage to the spinal cord and spinal nerves; and
WHEREAS, damage to the spinal cord often leads to progressive weakness in the arms and legs; stiffness in the back, shoulders, arms, or legs; and chronic severe pain; and
WHEREAS, syringomyelia obstructs the flow of a watery, protective substance known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which transports nutrients and waste products; and
WHEREAS, while not all cases interfere with a person’s activities, there is still no cure for severe syringomyelia; and
WHEREAS, surgery is the only treatment available to correct functional disturbances or halt the progression of damage to the central nervous system; and
WHEREAS, Syringomyelia Awareness Month is an opportunity to spread awareness and understanding for the disease so that critical research can continue to improve the quality of life for those with syringomyelia;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as SYRINGOMYELIA AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.