WESTFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States affecting more than 180,000 Americans. Kristin Gagnon and Ashley Robinson shared more about this disease and how you can help walk-n-roll for a cure.
5th Annual Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida
Gather your friends, family and coworkers, and join us for the 5th Annual Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida!
Saturday, June 7th
Registration Begins: 9AM
Walk Begins: 10:30AM
400 Western Avenue
For more information visit WalkNRollSBAGreaterNE.org.
What is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida literally means “split spine.” Spina Bifida happens when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column does not close all of the way. Spina Bifida is the most common birth defect that disables people for life. Every day, about eight babies born in the United States have Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.
Spina bifida is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect and the most common Neural Tube Defect. It affects approximately one out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States. Spina Bifida results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin or a thin membrane. Surgery to close a newborn’s back is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.
Because of the paralysis resulting from the damage to the spinal cord, individuals born with Spina Bifida may need surgeries and other extensive medical care. The condition can also cause bowel and bladder complications. A large percentage of children born with Spina Bifida also have hydrocephalus, the accumulation of fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus is controlled by a surgical procedure called “shunting” which relieves the fluid buildup in the brain by redirecting it into the abdominal area. Most children born with Spina Bifida live well into adulthood as a result of today’s sophisticated medical techniques.
Who is at risk?
In the United States, there are 65 million women of childbearing age and each one is potentially at risk of having a pregnancy affected by Spina Bifida. Birth defects can happen in any family. In fact, 95 percent of neural tube defects (NTDs) occur in women with no personal or family history of NTDs.