Introduced By: Representatives Benoit, Lowe and Burlingame
Date Introduced : March 25, 1999
WHEREAS, Alpha I Antitrypsin Deficiency (AIAD) is a genetic disease of the liver and lungs that results from a lack of the protein in a person's blood, which protects the lungs from germs, dust, air pollution, smoke and other inhaled irritants; and
WHEREAS, It is seen as a liver disease in infants and early childhood; in adults, the disease often leads to early onset emphysema, though it is often misdiagnosed as asthma, chronic bronchitis or early-onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to lack of knowledge or understanding about this disease; and
WHEREAS, Alpha I is particularly devastating to families as it strikes at the peak earning and child-rearing years, and occurs as frequently as cystic fibrosis, 1 in every 2500 live births, in the United States while only 4,000 have been identified; and
WHEREAS, May will be proclaimed nationally as National Alpha I Awareness Month and screenings, conferences and events will be held and also help raise awareness for early detection and organ donors as lung and/or liver transplantation is an option sought by many individuals as their disease progresses; now , therefore be it
RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations do hereby proclaim May 15th - 22nd as Alpha I Awareness Week throughout the state of Rhode Island and urge all citizens to become better acquainted with this disease and its consequences for many individuals and families in Rhode Island.