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Texas Will Screen Newborns for SCID Beginning December 1

TOWSON, Md., Dec. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will add Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) to the state's Newborn Screening Panel beginning December 1, 2012. The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), the national patient organization for persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases, commends the state of Texas and the dedicated volunteers who have advocated for this cause. Screening for SCID increases the probability of early detection and treatment, potentially saving the lives of babies affected by the disease.

SCID is a primary immunodeficiency disease where affected infants lack T-lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that help fight infections from a wide array of viruses, bacteria and fungi, leaving these infants susceptible to serious, life-threatening infections. Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment, most often by bone marrow transplant, these infants cannot survive. SCID infants who receive treatment within months of birth have a greater possibility of living happy, productive lives, thus the importance of newborn screening.

IDF continues to advocate for universal SCID newborn screening. Marcia Boyle, IDF President & Founder, said, "Implementing SCID newborn screening in Texas is a major milestone, and it is imperative that we sustain this momentum to establish newborn screening in all 50 states."

"The addition of SCID to the panel says to me that the individuals and groups CAN shape public policy through education, advocacy, and mobilization of interest groups," explained Texas resident and IDF volunteer Jennifer Garcia, mother of Cameron Garcia who died of SCID in March 2011. "It personally helps me feel some much needed peace in my heart, and that there was a purpose to Cameron's little life as well as the lives of all the other SCID angels."

Carol Ann Demaret, IDF Board member and mother of David Vetter (who was born with SCID and was known around the world as the "boy in the bubble") said, "When my beloved son, David, was born in 1971, it was only a dream that someday we would have this wonderful announcement. I am proud that David's home state of Texas will screen for SCID and give our children a greater chance at life. My prayer is to never again meet another family who has lost a child to SCID because diagnosis and treatment came too late. I congratulate the Texas DSHS and everyone who worked many years to guide this along."

About The Immune Deficiency Foundation

The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), founded in 1980, is the national patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases through advocacy, education and research.

To learn more about IDF, visit www.primaryimmune.org.

SOURCE Immune Deficiency Foundation

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