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Pro Football Hall of Fame Member Jim Kelly Urges Congress to Approve the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act
Date:4/8/2008

Legislation to Improve Screening of Newborns Vulnerable for Rare Metabolic Conditions

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jim Kelly, former Buffalo Bills quarterback who led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls, will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, to meet with Members of Congress asking them to approve and fund the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (S.1858).

Kelly will also participate in a press event with Senators Christopher Dodd and Hillary Clinton and Congressman Thomas Reynolds. Additional speakers include Dr. Alan Fleischman, senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes, and Jill Levy-Fisch, president of the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation.

Kelly and his wife, Jill, established the Hunter's Hope Foundation when their son was diagnosed with Krabbe four months after he was born in seemingly perfect health. Despite being told his health would decline rapidly and he would probably not live past fourteen months, Hunter lived eight years.

"It's so easy to talk about the wins - whether football games or in business or in any other element of life," says Kelly. "But it's the losses that we learn from - and no loss compares with that of losing a child. That grief is nothing you ever want anyone to go through. That's why newborn screening for 'Every Child, Every Time, Everywhere' is so critical."

Newborn screening is a vital public health activity that is essential for preventing the devastating consequences of certain metabolic, hormonal, genetic and or functional disorders not clinically recognizable at birth. If all infants are diagnosed and treated early, serious problems including disability and even death can be averted. Disparities among states screening tests persist, which could have dire consequences for an infant diagnosed with one of these rare and extremely serious birth defects. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are essential and can ma
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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