The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
In Marcy Johnson's view, the saddest thing about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is that it is 100 per cent preventable. Tomorrow, Johnson and others in the community will help bring awareness to this disease in recognition of the fifth annual International FASD Day. "What we're trying to do is make people aware of FASD," she said. "It's frustrating that it's such a serious disorder but there's not that much awareness out there." Tomorrow's events will include the distribution of white string knots, a symbol of FASD awareness. The knots represent a baby developing inside its mothers womb. The knots will be given out to the schools, as well as on Main Street at 12:30 p.m. They will also be placed in a number of public facilities, including the clinic, the hospital, and city hall. "We who care about FASD are the knot that will help make them whole," commented Johnson. At 9:09 a.m. tomorrow, the bells at local schools, as well as several churches, will sound in recognition of the day of awareness. The time represents September 9, 1999, the first time that the International FASD Day took place. FASD may occur when a mother drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, leading to a host of disabilities for the child. Johnson said that FASD affects people in different ways. Some might be socially immature or have learning disorders, while others may have irregular facial attributes or hyperactivity. See 'Awareness' P.# Con't from P.# "The biggest thing is that some people with FASD don't understand the consequences of their actions," said Johnson, adding that some people with the disease function just fine. She said that the disorder does not discriminate and deserves the awareness of everyone. "It's a sad, sad disease," commented Johnson. Johnson is one of about a dozen members of a committee that meets regularly to discuss FASD and plan awareness events each September. In June, the committee had elementary school students draw on paper bags their interpretations of how FASD could be stopped. Over the weekend, those bags were used to package alcohol at the Liquor Mart, a good way to promote awareness of the disease leading up to tomorrow, in Johnson's view.