Spotlight on Ryan Bott
When Ryan's son was born with a cleft lip, it shocked the family. His wife's pregnancy was trouble-free, so why had it happened? Ryan started looking for answers. He knew that to understand what causes cleft lip, or any birth defect, accurate data is required. In 2007, the March of Dimes asked him to testify in support of state funding for the (.PDF, 35KB) before a subcommittee of the state legislature. As a result, $360,000 ongoing funding and $173,000 one-time funding was secured for the network, which collects data for detecting birth defects trends, indicating areas for further research.