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11 Jan, 2013

Paying the Price of War: U.S. Veterans’ Children Suffer from Birth Defects


ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) has been tracking the increased incidence of birth defects and developmental disabilities among children of U.S. military veterans since 1990, and is asking the public for help in garnering support for a Children’s Research Center to study the phenomena.

BDRC started a petition to the Veteran’s Administration asking for a research center to identify how toxic chemical exposures may have triggered birth defects in veterans’ children and provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment.

BDRC’s executive director, Betty Mekdeci said, “Veterans are dying, but even more tragically, the children they’ve left behind are suffering. It’s often the wives and children who send us poignant messages:

“I lost my husband from a cancerous brain tumor 13 months ago. My son has many disabilities, including Tourette’s syndrome, mental retardation, mild cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and is profoundly deaf. He’ll never be able to live on his own.”

“My father passed away in 1998. He had many health problems, including type II diabetes. He was only 50 years old. Agent Orange has been a part of my life from the moment I was born. I was born without my right leg, several of my fingers, and my big toe on my left foot. My mother had three miscarriages. My younger brother (age 29) has to wear bifocals and suffers from chronic joint pain.”

“I served four tours in Vietnam. We have three children: one daughter with a heart defect, another with scoliosis and digestive problems, and a son born with a defective optic nerve that has left him blind in the right eye. There is no history of birth defects on either side of our family.”

“Since 1991, we’ve received thousands of calls and emails like these,” explained Betty. “These families are frustrated because they don’t know where to turn for proper diagnosis and treatment of their children’s disorders. We want to serve our veterans as they have served us by petitioning for a ‘Children’s Center’ that would be staffed by specialists who would provide free diagnosis and treatment for their serious health conditions and work with their doctors back home to continue care in their own communities.”

Sign Petition Here.

SOURCE Birth Defect Research for Children