Drinking alcohol while pregnant increases the chances that a child will have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although this disorder affects 40,000 infants a year, more than Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome and Muscular Dystrophy combined, it is still relatively unaddressed.
The Chicago-area FASTeam and a group of motorcycle enthusiasts are riding to raise awareness with the 2009 F.A.S.T. Ride.
Where: Galway’s Bar & Grill
12045 W. Roosevelt Road
The ride is 150-miles through the western suburbs
When: Sunday August 16
Registration is at 8:00 AM
Ride starts at 9:30 AM
Riders will experience police-stopped intersections for non-stop riding enjoyment. There will also be a light lunch at the Moose Lodge in Morris Illinois. The group will return to Galway’s Bar & Grill at 3:00 PM for a post-ride party which will also feature a dinner buffet, a live band and raffles with prizes ranging from cash to plasma and flat-screen televisions.
"We started the ride in 2004 and last year we had over 400 riders," said Walt Teichen, Chairman of the FASTeam Board of Directors and who co-founded the organization in 2003 with his wife Kathy. "Personally, my own family has been dramatically impacted by FASD and that has driven our commitment to help other families and FASD individuals get the help they need. The mission of the FASTeam is to raise awareness of and aid in the prevention of FASD and the motorcycle ride is one of the many ways we reach so many people while raising funds for the cause."
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is an umbrella term that describes the different outcomes that can occur if a woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. FASD includes the diagnoses of:
* Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS),
* Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE),
* Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS),
* Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), and
* Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD).
Each differs in terms of physical, mental, and behavioral disabilities and can include learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity and behavior problems.
The U.S. Surgeon General recommends several steps to avoid alcohol-related birth defects, including:
* A pregnant woman should not drink alcohol during pregnancy
* A pregnant woman who has already consumed alcohol during her pregnancy should stop in order to further minimize risks.
* A woman who is considering becoming pregnant should abstain from alcohol.
F.A.S.T. Ride sponsors include DKM Insurance Advisors, K Squared Communications, Galway’s Bar & Grill, Geico Insurance, Illinois Harley-Davidson, Law Tigers, Meritan Health, Peerless, Personal Preference, Inc., SportDecals and TCF Bank.