110210 Benefits and risks of foetal surgery

Randomized MOMS trial reveals definite benefits of foetal surgery

Babies who undergo an operation to repair the birth defect Spina Bifida while still in the womb develop better and experience fewer neurologic complications than babies who have corrective surgery after birth, according to findings from the major multicenter Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS). Those who received prenatal surgery were half as likely to have a shunt, and eight times as likely to have a normally positioned brainstem. There was “much better motor function of the legs,” Dr. Adzick said, and at 30 months old, nearly twice as many walked without crutches or orthotics. But there were also medical downsides for the women and infants: greater risk of prematurity than the postnatal group, related breathing problems, and thinning or tearing at women’s surgical incisions, requiring Caesarean sections for later births. The results of the study are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Prenatal surgery greatly reduces the need to divert fluid away from the brain


110215 Avon Woman of the Year 2010 Guatemala

AGEB president Mónica de Birnie - Avon Woman of the Year

For the past 10 years Avon Central America has been handing out the Woman of the Year award. The goal of the award is to honour women who through their involvement in humanitarian projects make a contribution to society. In August 2010 Avon Central America issued a call for candidates for the award. Next a qualified jury studied the entries to select the winner out of more than 35 nominees. Mónica Lorena Hernández de Birnie, president of the Association for Spina Bifida in Guatemala (AGEB) was chosen as Avon Woman of the Year 2010. As a mother of a 13-year-old daughter with Spina Bifida she always actively searched for information to help her daughter. In 2006 she joined AGEB as a volunteer, in 2007 she was elected vice president and then president. As president of AGEB she coordinates, promotes and develops support and prevention programmes.
AGEB received 20.000 USD to assist the organisation in its activities


110214 SSBA Firewalk Challenge

SSBA's Firewalk Challenge 2011

The Scottish Spina Bifida Association (SSBA) have teamed up with Firewalking experts ‘Soulfire Limited’ to provide their supporters with the spectacular opportunity to walk across 20 feet of burning embers in this extraordinary challenge. The challenge itself is not just about walking on fire but about learning skills which you can use in everyday life, having fun with team building skills and making new friends. The Challenge takes place on March 26 in Edinburgh and runs for three hours end to end. All participants start the evening with a private, motivational, fear busting seminar, designed to equip them with the skills to walk barefoot, unharmed across 20 feet of wood embers burning at 1236 degrees Fahrenheit. Read more on the SSBA website.
The training is based around proven motivational and psychological methods


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