Lisa Saunders on the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail in Kirkville, NY, in 2021. Lisa and Jim Saunders plan to walk the entire Trail across upstate New York, leaving #Stop CMV rocks along the way to help prevent #1 birth defects virus. 77 miles walked so far (Photo by Jim Saunders).
Moms and doctors work to ensure women know how to prevent the leading viral cause of birth defects, cytomegalovirus (CMV).
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Baldwinsville, NY--I was the mother of Elizabeth Saunders, born with a severely damaged brain from congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) in 1989. She had cerebral palsy, developmental delays, epilepsy, and vision and hearing loss. She died in 2006 during a seizure. When I was pregnant with Elizabeth, I ran a licensed child care center in my home, volunteered in our church nursery, and cared for a toddler of my own--all activities that put my pregnancy at risk for cytomegalovirus (CMV), the leading viral cause of birth defects (cdc.gov).