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A Letter from the Citizens of Arizona

During our massive petition drive to show support for Representative Thomas and his Valley Fever vaccine funding bill HR 5416, one batch of petitions was sent to us with the following letter from Arizona citizens.

Along with Valley Fever Survivor's September 9, 2006 letter of support to Representative Thomas, all 1633 petitions that had been collected for us, and other documents, it was fitting to mail the unsigned letter from the Citizens of Arizona.

August 30, 2006

The Honorable William Thomas
2208 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Thomas:

We the undersigned support HR 5416, which would make up to $45 million available for Valley Fever vaccine research and development.

Valley Fever is exacting a terrible toll on all Arizonans. We know many young, middle-aged and older visitors and residents who have fallen victim to this disease. Many cases go undiagnosed or are attributed to pneumonia. Other people struggle for years with the illness, which becomes chronic. The fungal medications now available cannot cure the disease and the side effects can be horrendous.

Some of us or our loved ones have wrestled with Valley Fever, and we have had to witness their pain and depression and attempt to give them hope and the will to get better.

Dogs and other mammals suffer as well. A high percentage of canines that come down with Valley Fever die from secondary effects such as kidney or brain disease. Veterinarians prescribe the same medications as humans take, and the results vary tremendously, but many dogs' lives are severely shortened due to the illness and/or the drugs. Pets also go undiagnosed for months and even years.

A vaccine would save millions of dollars in medical, veterinary and pharmaceutical costs, spare emotional and physical suffering and enhance the quality of life for Arizonans. It might also contribute to increased economic productivity and tourism.

Thanks for your help with this important project.

The Citizens of Arizona 


 
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