COLUMBUS—House Bill 45, sponsored by State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), received approval from the Ohio Senate and is headed to the governor’s desk. The legislation would designate May as “Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month,” providing recognition and awareness for the genetic disease impacting an individual’s nervous system.

Neurofibromatosis (NF) causes tumor growth in the cells that surround and make up nerves throughout the human body. The disorder affects over one in every 3,000 newborn babies and can result in skeletal defects, learning disabilities, disfigurement, cardiovascular problems, cancer, loss of sight and hearing, and many other serious health issues.

“Although it’s not a well-known disorder, neurofibromatosis affects many individuals throughout Ohio,” said Representative Sprague. “I am grateful for all of the work my constituent, Larry Gossard, puts forth to raise awareness to this issue and really appreciate the unanimous support by members in the House and Senate.”

Sprague was approached with the idea for this legislation by Larry Gossard, a constituent and resident of Hardin County. Gossard has a child with neurofibromatosis, and he has been working continuously to raise awareness of the disorder. In addition to promoting legislation, Gossard coordinates an annual event, Cruise-In For a Cure, which raises funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

“I would like to thank Representative Sprague and all of the legislators that recognize how important this is for people in Ohio that live with NF,” said Larry Gossard.

House Bill 45 now goes to the governor for final approval before becoming law.

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