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Friday, November 28, 2014

Candidate to help battle NM genetic brain illness

Editor’s note: This is in response to the letter “Rare disease apparently not worth Wilson’s regard,” published in the Aug. 24 issue of the Daily Lobo. In the letter, author Joyce Gonzales criticizes congressional candidate Heather Wilson for refusing to co-sponsor a resolution concerning cerebral cavernous malformation, a rare disease that disproportionately affects Hispanics and has a 400-year history in New Mexico.

Editor,

Cerebral cavernous malformation is a disease that occurs when abnormal, raspberry-shaped blood vessels develop in the brain and spinal cord. It afflicts more Hispanics than any other ethnic group in New Mexico. Because the disease is so difficult to detect without the right technology, it often goes undiagnosed. Left untreated, it can cause seizures, hemorrhages and even death.

While detection methods have improved over the years, it is not enough. We must increase awareness, education and technology so that doctors in New Mexico — and elsewhere — are able to detect and diagnose this disease at its earliest stages. That is why in the U.S. Senate I will join Sen. Tom Udall and co-sponsor his legislation that increases awareness, education and research of this disease.

As public servants, it is our duty and responsibility to protect the people of New Mexico. And I’ll do just that in the U.S. Senate.

Heather Wilson
U.S. Senate candidate