HARTFORD, Conn. — Last year, 16-year-old Ridgefield resident Natalie Whiten met with state Rep. John Frey to push Connecticut to recognize dwarfism awareness month.
Natalie, now a senior at Ridgefield High School, is an active member of LPA (Little People of America).
One year has passed since that meeting. Due to the continued activism of Whiten and the advocacy in the State Capitol by Frey, Connecticut now joins other states in establishing October as Dwarfism Awareness Month.
“I’m proud that October will now be Dwarfism Awareness Month in Connecticut, and I’m thankful to Natalie for bringing this to our attention,” said Frey. “The goal is to increase opportunities for people with achondroplasia around the state and to correct misconceptions that may be out there. Natalie is a regular person. She’s starting to look at colleges. She wants to pursue engineering. There are thousands of people just like Natalie, and they deserve normalcy,”
An official bill signing took place, Oct. 20, in the office of Gov. Dannel Malloy. Natalie was joined by her parents, and the family of 18-month-old Anabella Morgan of Ridgefield, who was also born with achondroplasia.
When the Morgans learned that the bill establishing Dwarfism Awareness Month in Connecticut had been approved unanimously by the Connecticut House of Representatives and the State Senate in May, they reached out to Natalie through their pediatrician. The two families have remained close since then.
During the bill signing, Natalie explained to Malloy that she advocated for Dwarfism Awareness month in Connecticut so that children who have achondroplasia have an easier time growing up than she did. She said that bringing more attention to the subject will help normalize it and will allow people with achondroplasia to live normal lives.
The Nutmeg State joins Delaware, Puerto Rico, Missouri, Indiana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Massachusetts, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Rhode Island, Maryland, South Carolina, Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio .
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