NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Mayor Al Morgan and the borough council approved a proclamation of encouragement and urge all municipalities in the State of New Jersey to adopt proclamations promoting awareness and supporting continued Fibro dysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) research.
FOP is one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions in which the body makes additional bone in locations where bone should not form, such as within muscles, tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues. It is estimated that FOP has affected approximately one in two million people with researchers at the present time aware of approximately 800 confirmed cases worldwide with 285 known cases in the United States. The symptoms of FOP usually begin in the first or second decade of life, with the majority of patients diagnosed by the age of 10 depriving children of normal development. Musculoskeletal research is close to achieving major breakthroughs that likely will change and simplify the way bone and joint disorders are treated and prevented throughout the world. A gene has been identified, after fifteen years of hard research by the University of Pennsylvania, the only known research facility currently investigating a cure for FOP.
In 2001, Mountainside resident Gary White, after a friend's nine-year-old daughter was afflicted by the disease, decided to do two things for FOP -- start an awareness initiative and the second was to raise funds for research.
Back then, White convinced over 550 towns, including New Providence, to adopt a resolution or proclamation about FOP awareness. Now, 18 years later, the Borough once again adopted a proclamation promoting awareness and supporting continued research..
White reported that he has the support of 568 municipalities in the State of New Jersey with only two that have chosen not to support. "I decided to travel to towns in Union County, where I started this," said White. His hope is that letters to these municipalities will get the two municipalities to succumb and sign a proclamation. He thanked the Borough for their past and present support.
The proclamation said that it is the hope of the Mayor and Council that one day a Proclamation/Resolution book will be on display in Washington D.C. containing proclamations/resolutions acknowledging support of the children and young adults afflicted with FOB from every municipality in the the State of New Jersey.