The Importance of Birth Defects Research: Skylar’s Story
Lindsey’s daughter, Skylar, was born with a very rare birth defect that has left her unable to walk and talk. Skylar will need full assistance for every part of her life. Describing her daughter, Lindsey said, “She is truly amazing and the best part of my life, but if I could have done something to prevent all the pain, the surgeries, and the struggles, I would have, without question.”
Every year, one in every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect. While we know the causes of some birth defects, we do not know what causes most of them. Researchers across the nation are teaming up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find answers through the Birth Defects Study to Evaluate Pregnancy exposureS (BD-STEPS). To Lindsey, research is vital. She knows first-hand that “birth defects can be a debilitating thing in a person’s life.” She believes that research is the key:
"It’s imperative to determine what things are causing birth defects and what the risk factors are so that women can be educated and learn how to reduce the risks during and before pregnancy. If studying birth defects can eliminate parents from losing their children and children having to suffer from severe illnesses and disabilities, then I consider it essential... I am a parent who will outlive my child and if I could have done anything to prevent it and to have her here with me for a lifetime, I would give anything!"
If you have been invited to take part in BD-STEPS, we hope you will consider participating. We believe you can help us to discover the causes of birth defects.