Congressman Valadao Introduces Resolution to Raise Awareness on Rare Brain Disease
Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate November 12, 2023, as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Awareness Day. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare brain disease that causes a rapid decline in a person’s cognitive health, and often leads to death within only a few months to one year following the onset of symptoms. Longtime Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall passed away from CJD in 2018.
WASHINGTON – Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-22) introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate November 12, 2023, as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Awareness Day. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare brain disease that causes a rapid decline in a person’s cognitive health, and often leads to death within only a few months to one year following the onset of symptoms. Longtime Bakersfield Mayor Harvey L. Hall passed away from CJD in 2018.
“Harvey Hall was a compassionate man with a great love for life, his family, his community, and his country,” said Congressman Valadao. “As the longest serving mayor in Bakersfield history, he was a beloved member of our community and a dear friend of mine. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution that would designate November 12, 2023 as CJD Awareness Day to honor Mayor Hall’s memory and help raise awareness for CJD patients and their families across the country.”
“When driving through Bakersfield and Kern County, it is clear to see the impact our late mayor had on our community; from the emergency services provided by his ambulance company to countless improvements made through his 16 years of leadership in our city, Harvey’s legacy lives on," said Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy. "This resolution adds to that legacy by furthering awareness of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which is why I am proud to honor the life of my late friend and support Congressman Valadao’s resolution to name November 12, 2023 as CJD Awareness Day.”
“The impact of learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is unimaginable. Everywhere you turn for answers and guidance you hear, “We just don’t know” or “This is just so rare.” The isolation and confusion are devastating. My husband Harvey’s first symptoms became apparent during a work meeting. After two hospital stays and many tests, a radiologist who had never seen CJD before saw something on the MRI he wanted to investigate further, which ultimately led to the CJD diagnosis. Two weeks and 7 hours after that diagnosis, Harvey’s short battle with this horrendous disease came to an end. I am eternally grateful to Reps. Valadao, McCarthy, Costa, Joyce, and Brown for their leadership in introducing this resolution that recognizes the importance of a day that raises awareness for this rare brain disorder,” said Lavonne C. Hall, widow of Mayor Harvey Hall.
“Each year hundreds of families in the U.S. are shocked to hear the words, “your loved one has Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.” Most have never heard of CJD before their loved one is diagnosed, but they quickly learn how rapid and destructive this neurodegenerative disease is and how many devastating symptoms it inflicts. They then recognize then the need for treatments, faster diagnostics, and better caregiving options. It is critical to invest in surveillance and research of CJD, raise awareness, and support family caregivers,” said Debbie Yobs, President, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation.
Congressman Valadao was joined in introduction by Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (CA-20), Representatives Jim Costa (CA-21), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Dave Joyce (OH-14).
Read the full text of the resolution here.
Watch Congressman Valadao’s remarks on the resolution here.