Wisconsin SCID test requirement now in 50 states

Dawson Bornheimer, 11, plays basketball in the kitchen at his home. When he was an infant, he tested positive for severe combined immunodeficiency and was cured with a transplant of umbilical cord blood, which is similar to a bone marrow transplant.

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Dawson Bornheimer, 11, plays basketball in the kitchen at his home. When he was an infant, he tested positive for severe combined immunodeficiency and was cured with a transplant of umbilical cord blood, which is similar to a bone marrow transplant.

MILWAUKEE – Dawson Bornheimer, 11, plays football almost every day, likes mac and cheese and shooting video game zombies and is such a picture of health that he can tell you with authority, “I haven’t puked in two years.”

“He probably can tell you the date,” says his mother, Melissa.  

In Dawson’s first year of life, he tested positive for a rare disease.

Since then, a movement in newborn screening has spread across all 50 states and 20 countries around the world.

The long struggle to win widespread acceptance for the lifesaving test brought together a remarkable group of parents, children, doctors and health officials.

It began in Wisconsin, in the small village of Edgar, with a phone call from Dawson’s pediatrician.    

In January 2008, six months before Dawson’s birth, Wisconsin had become the first place in the world to screen all babies for a life-threatening illness called severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID. When Dawson was 12 days old, he tested positive.



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