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News at the NRSF

2012 Gratitude Report

2012 Gratitude Report


school nurseEvery year for the past 38 Years the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation has provided life-saving Reye’s Syndrome information to the families of students in more than 136,000 schools across the United States and its Territories.

School Nurses and Administrators send a Reye’s Syndrome  packet of information home with each student at the beginning of every school year.  This packet includes Reye’s Syndrome Symptoms literature, bookmarks with NRSF contact information, wallet size ‘ingredients to avoid’ cards for Over-The-Counter children’s medications, a Reye’s Syndrome brochure, and a list of medicines that contain aspirin.

We know that this huge, educational initiative saves the lives of children all across the U.S. and we thank all school administrators and nurses for promoting Reye’s Syndrome Awareness!


With the guidance of volunteer leaders from across the United States on our Board,  our RS survivors, and our caring community volunteers, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation  has stayed on mission for 38 years, educating and promoting awareness and saving lives.

We truly cherish your investment of time and money, and we count on your trust in our mission to eradicate the incidence of Reye’s Syndrome. The work we do at the NRSF is built on a solid foundation of financial accountability, transparency, and ethics.

And there is one more critically important element to our continued success. You. You are here to show us that there is a community of people who keep the mission of the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation in their hearts each and every day.

bodNRSF’s All Volunteer Board of Directors


A major milestone was achieved this year when talks between the NRSF, the FDA, and Bayer Consumer Health Care resulted in all aspirin manufacturers removing the words “baby aspirin” from all packaging and marketing.  For 37 years we fought for this life saving agreement and it finally came to fruition.  We know that this change will save many lives and we thank the FDA and the aspirin manufacturers for recognizing and acting upon this most serious issue.

This year, we have developed more technology to support our Awareness efforts; Android Apps, and E-books, promoting Reye’s Syndrome Awareness.  Our new apps; Aspirin Sense and Sensitivity, and A Guide to Chickenpox are both available in the google play store.

Our Reye’s Syndrome website is used by more than 150,000 people across the globe each month.  Visits always increase at the beginning of the school year, and during flu season. We are proud, and pleased to provide this quality information.

With the help of Transfer Me To DVD, located at, all films and videos spanning our 38 year history have now been transferred to DVD for additional preservation.  We Thank them for donating so much of the work and supplies!

WITH YOUR SUPPORT:babyheart_right

  • 6,500 Emails answered this year.
  • 6,200 Phone Calls answered this year.
  • 136,000 Families Educated this year.
  • 1500 Reye’s Syndrome School Projects this year.

Several Major Dreams Came True this year:

  • Bayer removed all ‘baby’ aspirin packaging
  • NRSF goes to the SAG Awards
  • Millions of Young Lives Saved!

We invite you to join us in our work.  We invite you to donate toward our Awareness and Education programs.  We invite you to join the NRSF as a Member.

Thank You!

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Fall 2012

Fall 2012 Message From The NRSF President

johnWe have spent a lot of time this year, as always, on Reye’s Syndrome Awareness projects. We had several Reye’s cases reported, both here in the United States and from other countries. Several cases, are several too many! All we can do is continue to spread awareness and work hard at educating as many people as we can in an effort to save lives.

Spreading awareness and educating new parents, caregivers, and medical professionals not only requires a lot of time, it also requires support.

Issues that are rising include:

  • Parents are not immunizing their children, and this can potentially
    create an epidemic of viral infections like measles, chickenpox,
    and whooping cough returning to plague our youngsters. Viral
    infections that were once almost wiped out are coming back
    around because new parents and caregivers are confused about
  • H1N1 flu, and new mutating flu strains, are evolving and circling
    the globe. We are not immune, and neither are our children.
    Bird Flu found its way to the North American Continent this
    summer, and Mexico killed millions of chickens and other fowl to
    attempt to contain the virus. The question lingers, did they
    contain the virus?
  • The Internet, with all its wonderful data, also perpetuates a host
    of incorrect information and a lot of it is about Aspirin and
    Aspirin use! There are facial mask recipes made of crushed
    aspirin tablets for teen-agers, and even people who challenge the
    existence of Reye’s Syndrome!
  • Chickenpox Parties! Of all the things to subject a child to, one
    who has no choice in the matter—another child’s germs and
    body fluids! This one should make us all ill just thinking about it!

In all instances, the possibility of Reye’s Syndrome lurks in the background and many parents and caregivers still don’t know about this deadly monster.

So we educate, we provide awareness, and we attempt to reach as many as we possibly can. We hope you are doing the same thing. Our message, your message, can save a little one’s life! Speak Up, and Speak Out—Remind parents about Reye’s Syndrome!

We also congratulate NRSF spokesperson Dick Van Dyke on his Screen Actors Guild selection to receive the coveted dickvandyke1Life Achievement Award. Dick will accept the award January 27 during the SAG Awards. His work with the NRSF and for Reye’s Syndrome will be highlighted during the presentation.

We also thank you, and hope you will continue to support the work that we do. We need your voice, and we need your membership. It all counts, and it all makes a huge difference!

Thank You for Caring.

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Spring 2012

Spring 2012: Message From The NRSF President

johnAlready, this year is shaping up to be a busy year as we extend our Reye’s Syndrome education and awareness outreach.

This year, we are asking families to come together in support of Reye’s Syndrome awareness.  We are asking the older generations to impart their knowledge to the younger generations, and we invite those younger generations to become active in supporting Reye’s Syndrome education and awareness.  Until we find a cure for Reye’s Syndrome, we must continue putting the message out; Kids and aspirin products don’t mix!  We must hand Reye’s Syndrome awareness down from generation to generation until we find a cure!

The uniqueness of the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation is that all involved  are family.  My wife, Terri, and I have met most of you, and your families, at annual meetings, at hospital bedsides, at chapter gatherings, and at various fund raising events over the years.  The Foundation itself is one big family, with one single goal in mind; the eradication of a monstrous disease!  We don’t have hundreds of thousands of members, or donors.  We know each of you by name, and the name of your loved one attacked by Reye’s Syndrome.  You are not a stranger, you are family.

In today’s electronic world, it is easier than ever to stay in touch, and it is easier than ever to create support for Reye’s Syndrome education and awareness.

How simple it is to ask your boss if every  Friday, or every third Friday of the month be designated a Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Friday, and perhaps a ‘dress down day’, or potluck can be held with proceeds donated to the NRSF in support of educational programs.  Or maybe one sports game at school each year can be dedicated to Reye’s Syndrome Awareness and ticket proceeds  donated to the NRSF for educational programs.  And, for all those who have ‘friends’ on Facebook and other social media sites, creating a Birthday Wish Cause, or Memorial, with the NRSF as recipient of the gift, is a wonderful and so easy way to support Reye’s Syndrome Awareness.  It also helps the NRSF family grow stronger in outreach programs.

We are in this together, you and I.  We are partners in a common cause.   baby1

We are guardians of children past, present and future, and we shall not let them down.

Join the NRSF family in this most important cause.

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Bayer Drops ‘Baby Aspirin’

Bryan, Ohio, July 5, 2011 – by the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation

Bayer Drops “Baby” Aspirin   coverkids

Today, in a phone call from the FDA, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation learned that Bayer Consumer Health Care has agreed to remove the word ‘baby’ from all of its aspirin packaging and marketing materials. The 81mg aspirin product will now be known as Bayer 81mg Low Dose Aspirin.

The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation (NRSF) had met with the FDA on April 28, 2011 in Silver Springs Maryland, to voice its concerns about consumer misunderstanding of the use of the product, given the front panel stated ‘low dose “baby” aspirin. Although Bayer Consumer Health Care maintains that their use of the word “baby” was meant to describe the product “as a smaller version of their adult 325mg aspirin” product, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation found that consumers, especially new parents, were thinking the product was safe for children and infants. “We were receiving calls just about every day from panicked parents who thought they had just killed their child because they had not read the warning label on the back of the package. They only read the front label where it showed the word ‘baby’ and assumed it was safe to give their child”, states Terri Freudenberger, Co-Founder of the Foundation. “We had to do something to clarify the use of this medication to the consumer so we took our concerns to the FDA.”

In 1984 the FDA mandated that all aspirin products display a Reye’s Syndrome Warning label on the back panel of the product after it was discovered by a team of CDC epidemiologists lead by Dr. Karen Starko, that aspirin (salicylate) could trigger Reye’s Syndrome. Dr. Starko participated with the NRSF in the meeting with the FDA in April and had this to say about Bayer’s decision, “This is an important step in aligning marketing and packaging information with proper use. Kudos to the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation for spearheading the conversation in this issue on behalf of children, and to the FDA for a prompt response.”

Marianne Piemonte, Aspirin Committee Chairperson at the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation states, “We really have to acknowledge Bayer Consumer Health Care for their commitment to the health and well-being of children, and for their desire to properly educate consumers. The term “baby” aspirin is a misnomer. Forty years after the death of our sweet little girl I can now celebrate her short life, confident that no other parent will ever again innocently give their baby or toddler aspirin believing, erroneously, that it is safe medicine.

Former Maryland Attorney General, Joe Curran, who assisted in setting up the meeting between the NRSF and the FDA stated, “Thanks to Bayer for the agreement to remove “Baby” from bottles and marketing material, and a very special thanks to the leadership of John Freudenberger for the Reye’s Syndrome Foundation programs that have made parents aware of this disease, and of course, a heartfelt thanks to the FDA for listening to our concerns.”

John Freudenberger, President of the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation, states, “Bayer Consumer Health Care’s decision supports the Foundation’s 37 year mission to eradicate the incidence of Reye’s Syndrome in children, and allows us to get closer to achieving that goal. We thank them for doing the right thing on behalf of children everywhere.”

When Reye’s Syndrome develops, it typically occurs when a person is beginning to recover from a viral illness like flu or chicken pox. It is a disease that affects all organs of the body; most lethally the liver and the brain, and mostly in children. Epidemiological research has shown a connection between Reye’s Syndrome and aspirin (salicylate). More can be learned about Reye’s Syndrome at www.ReyesSyndrome.Org.

For more information about this release, please contact;
National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation

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