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Proclamation 6303—National Scleroderma Awareness Week, 1991

June 11, 1991

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Scleroderma, which literally means "hard skin," is a connective tissue discorder in which excessive amounts of the protein collagen accumulate in the skin. In addition to the skin, sscleroderma affects small blood vessels, muscles, and joints. It may also damage internal organs such as the esophagus, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Although scleroderma can strike men and women of any age, it occurs most often in women during their childbearing years. The disease is often painful, and it may cause disfigurement, disability, and even death. The impact on victims and their families -- in terms of both physical and emotional suffering -- is enormous.

Fortunately, progresses is being made in determining the cause of scleroderma and in developing more effective treatments for the disease. Researchers have developed an animal model that will help them to understand more about the nature and the progression of scleroderma. They have also made an important finding in the discovery of abnormalities in collagen-producing cells, know as fibroblasts, among scleroderma victims. Furthermore, they have found that treatment with specific agents, such as d-penicillamine, may retard the hardening of collagen in the skin.

As is the case when any other disease, it is very important to diagnose scleroderma in its early stages. Timely intervention, coupled with sound treatment, can improve the quality of life enjoyed by people with scleroderma until research yields a cure.

To enhance public awareness of scleroderma, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 219, has designated the week beginning June 9, 1991, as "National Scleroderma Awareness Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning June 9, 1991, as National Scleroderma Awarness Week. I encourage the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities that will enhance their understanding of scleroderma and the need for continued research.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventhy day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundered and ninety-one, and of the Independence of United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6303—National Scleroderma Awareness Week, 1991 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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