Yellow Ribbon for Spina Bifida

IMG_4584So, it’s our Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness this week, and World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day on 25th October.

We are all used to Awareness Weeks, we look at other people’s and they tend to come and go. Wear a colour, do a thing, raise funds – all essential things to do if anyone is to take any notice. In many cases they aren’t so much Awareness Weeks as ‘focus’ weeks – after all awareness levels of, say, breast cancer are pretty high; what we are really asked to do is to focus hard on it now and again.

For us though, in the world of spina bifida and hydrocephalus it’s a bit different. Our principal problem is still AWARENESS, or more exactly, UNAWARENESS.

So, when we pin our yellow ribbons on this week, or join in ‘Wear Yellow and Shine’, or with IF, launch PUSH – People United for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (see end of blog) it isn’t because we are asking people to focus on what they know already, it is to say:

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STOP. SIT UP. LISTEN. TAKE ACTION TO HALT THIS LACK OF AWARENESS.

How many UK women are AWARE, as they dream of becoming mothers now, or one day, that they have a 1 in 1000 chance of their baby having a neural tube defect? How many are AWARE that they can significantly reduce their chances of this happening by taking folic acid?

How many parents are AWARE that there is a one in 1000 chance of their baby/child being born with or developing hydrocephalus? How many are AWARE of what hydrocephalus actually is?

How many teachers are AWARE that one of these thousands of children might join their class, this year or next, and that they will need special understanding and strategies in order to develop, to protect them from isolation and bullying?

How many policy makers are AWARE that there are an estimated 40, 000 people with spina bifida in the UK?


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