Texas Mom speaks out for Newborn Screening

Cameron Garcia

Jennifer Garcia lost her son when he was only nine months old in March 2011 from an infection that settled in his chest and developed into pneumonia before he was diagnosed with SCID.  What makes this story especially sad is that if Cameron Garcia had been born in another hospital in Texas that was participating in a SCID Newborn Screening pilot program, he would have been diagnosed with SCID at birth.  Then, Cameron would likely have been able to receive treatment early enough to save his life.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services website, five hospitals are currently participating in the opt-in SCID pilot: St. David’s Medical Center (Main Campus), Austin, TX; St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, Austin, TX; Pediatric Associates of Austin, Austin, TX; Felici Pediatric Clinic, McAllen, TX; and Betta Pediatric Clinic, San Benito, TX.  Jennifer is bravely sharing her story with hospitals throughout Texas to encourage more to join in to the voluntary pilot.  She has succeeded in convincing the College Station Medical Center where Cameron was born, as well as several other local hospitals, to start testing babies for SCID later this year.  Jennifer is also working with a dedicated group of other Texas SCID volunteers to have SCID screening become a statewide policy in the state.  Carol Ann Demaret, Yvette Shorten, Alicia King, Racheal Sanders, and Eryn Matthews have all been advocating with policymakers in the state in an attempt to get SCID added to the Texas newborn screening panel.

To see Jennifer share her story with a local news outlet, please visit http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/CS_Mother_Pushing_for_SCID_Screening_in_Texas__126366573.html?storySection=story

You can learn more about the Texas pilot program at www.­dshs.­state.­tx.­us/­lab/­scid.­shtm

If you are interested in advocating for SCID newborn screening or would like to share the activities you are involved in with your own state, please comment below or fill out the CONTACT form at the top of the screen.