SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois is now the 14th state to screen for ALD in newborns. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced it officially started screenings on Monday.
ALD is short for adrenoleukodystrophy. It’s a hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system and adrenal gland. Experts say early diagnosis can lead to potentially life-saving treatment options. The Stop ALD Foundation says it mostly affects boys and men.
WCIA has previously reported on Alvin teenager, Blake Kinnett, who battles ALD. His parents have worked with lawmakers to make sure newborns are screened.
His mother, Becky Kinnett, sent us a statement about the new screening. It reads as follows:
“It has been a long road to get this accomplished but we are so thankful that boys in Illinois will now have a fighting chance. So many lives will now be saved and families will not have to endure the pain that Blake and our family have gone through. Blake continues to fight this battle. Although, we are pleased that Illinois is now testing, the fight is not over. We will continue to help and support other families in other states because your life should not depend on your zip code. “