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Contact: Amanda Darnley
September 14, 2009
(202) 944-3285, x15

Mary Jo Dunleavy, Long-time Spina Bifida Champion, Passes Away

Washington, D.C. – Mary Jo Dunleavy, BSN, long-time Spina Bifida champion and a member of the Spina Bifida Association Nursing and Health Care Professionals Council (NHPC), passed away on Friday, September 4th.

During her career of more than 30 year with Boston Children’s Hospital, Mary Jo worked tirelessly for Spina Bifida patients in the urology and general surgery departments and ultimately as the Nurse Coordinator at the award-winning Spina Bifida clinic. Over the years, she served on numerous planning committees for Spina Bifida Association National Conferences and most recently was a key member of the planning committee for the first international meeting of Spina Bifida research and health care professionals.

"Mary Jo’s dedication to those living with Spina Bifida was unparalleled. Her remarkable enthusiasm, tenacity, and dedication will be missed by all." remarked Cindy Brownstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of SBA.

The Spina Bifida Association is the nation’s only national voluntary health agency dedicated to serving the needs of the Spina Bifida Community. Its programs give hope and strength to more than 250,000 people whose lives are touched by this disabling birth defect. One of the SBA’s most vital functions is to communicate to the 65 million women of childbearing age the importance of daily folic acid intake to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida. For more information, visit or call 800-621-3141.