Daughter’s diagnosis leads mom to become a spina bifida champion

Written by: Kim Kham, UT Physicians

Lisa Laurenzo’s first trimester started off normal, just like any other pregnancy. However in 2010, two days before Christmas, her OB-GYN noticed something concerning during her 20-week ultrasound.

To pinpoint the condition, additional bloodwork was ordered and an MRI was performed. After reviewing the results of the tests, her doctor determined Ruby, her unborn daughter, had spina bifida, a neural tube defect which occurs when the spinal cord does not develop properly.

Spina bifida is known as the “snowflake condition” because no two cases are the same. Ruby was diagnosed with myelomeningocele, a severe form in which a small spinal fluid sac grows between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. Laurenzo was shocked. She had heard distressing stories about spina bifida.  Read full story