BIRD stands for the Baschirotto Institute of Rare Diseases http://www.birdfoundation.org/ This institution is in Italy, near Vicenza in the north. For many years, IPWSO has had a close working relationship with BIRD and the Baschirotto family, and BIRD has become central to IPWSO's ability to provide free diagnoses for children and adults with PWS, particularly those coming from countries where this is not available.
The story behind BIRD is simple. Anna and Guiseppe Baschirotto had a son born with a rare disorder for which, at that time, there was no cure. When their son, Mauro, died, Anna and Guiseppe determined that they would help as many families where children were born with a rare disorder, as possible. They instigated the BIRD foundation in 2004 (picture above) where not only there is an internationally recognised laboratory for the diagnosis of rare diseases, but also a rehabilitation centre for therapy and attention. Currently, there are free diagnoses for 5 molecular disorders including PWS http://www.birdfoundation.org/Eventi/2009/diagnoses%20free/International%20Support%20-%20Poster.pdf
IPWSO's Chief Executive, Giorgio Fornasier, brought BIRD to our attention back in 2004 and, with the support of Pfizer's sponsorship, IPWSO has been able to offer free diagnoses to countries throughout the world, and has now done this for over 140 children and adults.
Sending a blood sample is easy. All that is required is a drop of blood on blotting paper, and post this in the mail to the clinic. If you are aware of anyone requiring this, in countries where diagnosis is not freely availabale, please, in the first instance, contact Giorgio Fornasier: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about BIRD on our website: http://www.ipwso.org/free-diagnosis-bird/
And in our March 2009 Wavelength. http://www.ipwso.org/wavelength-newsletters/