October 15, 1984

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For most of us, combing our hair or crossing the room to turn on the light are simple, routine tasks. But for more than 100,000 Americans who suffer from myasthenia gravis, these everyday activities are enough to exhaust them for hours.

Myasthenia gravis is a serious neuromuscular disease whose cause is not yet known. It can strike anyone at any time, draining people of their vitality, producing muscle weakness and abnormally rapid fatigue.

Though there is still much to be learned, scientists now know that myasthenia gravis depletes its victim of an essential chemical -- without which nerve cells cannot tell muscles to work. Based on this knowledge, scientists have made important progress in managing this disorder. Today, several new forms of treatment are available, and myasthenia gravis patients can expect to lead nearly normal lives.

But because we still do not know how to prevent this disease, the quest for answers continues. Scientists supported by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation and the Federal government's National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke remain dedicated to this crucial research effort. These investigators are inspired by the courage and tenacity shown by myasthenia gravis patients and their families.

In order that the public be made aware of myasthenia gravis and the need to conquer this debilitating disorder, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 295, has designated the week of October 14 through October 20, 1984, as ``Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning October 14, 1984, as Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Week. I call upon all government agencies, health organizations, communications media, and people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:42 p.m., October 16, 1984]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 16.