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Legislature recognizes Dysautonomia Awareness Month

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon, joined by Legislature Chairman John Mills, Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo, Legislator Edward Rath, Legislator Ted Morton and County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, presented a proclamation to Hamburg resident Laura Seil Ruszczyk on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, announcing that Erie County has designated October 2016 as Dysautonomia Awareness Month. Ruszczyk, who was diagnosed with the medical condition six years ago, has been working with Dysautonomia International to raise awareness of this disorder. Advocates like Ms. Seil Ruszczyk continue to fight to bring medical treatment to this region so that patients don’t have to travel hundreds of miles.  


“Currently, the Western New York area has few doctors to treat those with dysautonomia. By proclaiming October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month in Erie County, the Legislature is supporting Laura and everyone who battles this disorder, which impacts more than 70 million people worldwide. Please take some time to educate yourself about dysautonomia and join the efforts to support research in hopes of finding a cure,” said Legislator Dixon.


Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS regulates such functions as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation and constriction of the pupils, kidney function, and temperature control. Dysautonomia patients deal with varied symptoms including dizziness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, abnormal heart rates and malnutrition.


"Awareness of this disorder is critical," said Ruszczyk. "Many medical professionals have little experience with dysautonomia. This has to change; as does increased research to find optimum treatments and hopefully a cure for this disorder. We also need more doctors to treat us. Some people travel extensive distances to see an autonomic specialist as there are so few."


For additional information, please contact Legislator Dixon at 858-8671 or e-mail lynne.dixon@erie.gov.