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Walk set to shine spotlight on FASD

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The Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre, in collaboration with the FASD Community Partners of the Rainy River District, is hosting an event to mark FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) International Awareness Day.

While last year’s event was a pancake breakfast, this year’s event is a walk dubbed “A Mile in My Moccasins: An awareness walk to acknowledge and support individuals, children, families, and caregivers affected by FASD.”

“Every year on Sept. 9, International FASD Awareness Day is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should abstain from alcohol,” said Krista Olson.

She noted bells are rung across the world at 9:09 a.m. as people gather for events to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy, as well as the plight of individuals and families who struggle with FASD.

Olson said the idea for the walk started with the FASD child nutrition program at the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre.

“They had decided that they were going to plan a walk, so we thought this year we would join them with their walk and make it one larger event for the community to participate in,” she explained.

“The idea is to bring awareness for FASD,” Olson stressed, adding anyone can attend the event.

“It’s for anyone from the community who wishes to walk for awareness for the event or maybe knows of someone affected with FASD, or anyone who is a caregiver for an individual,” she remarked.

Olson said the purpose of the event is the basis of the group’s new mission statement—advocating for quality, providing education, and promoting prevention of FASD.

“Come and join us for a little walk, and then come back for some light snacks,” she urged.

The walk will take place this Wednesday (Sept. 9) under the tent at the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre.

It will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a traditional opening and meet-and-greet, followed by a moment of silence at 9:09 a.m.

A walk to the Point and back will start at 9:15 a.m.

Guest speaker Claudine Longboat-White will speak on the FASD clinic and referral process.

The event will conclude with a mix-and-mingle and information sharing at 11 a.m.

For more info, contact FASD/Child Nutrition worker Lana Smith at 274-3131.

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