Welcome to SBANCA

The Spina Bifida Association of the National Capital Area (SBANCA) is a person-to-person, family-to-family network of people who have been touched by spina bifida.  Many of us are parents of children with spina bifida.  Others are adults who have spina bifida.  All of the board members are volunteers, and most either have spina bifida or have lived with a family member with spina bifida. We serve the spina bifida community in the Washington, DC, area,  including Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County in Virginia; and the city of Alexandria.

Sometimes children and adults with spina bifida feel that they are alone with the unique challenges they face.  SBANCA’s goal is to help those in the spina bifida community to get to know each other, share experiences, and learn from one another.  We do this at our monthly support group meetings and at our three yearly social events.  We also have a loan closet where people can bring gently used durable medical equipment, and new consumable medical supplies to share with others.

Support Groups

The heart of our organization is our support groups.  Every month two support groups  meet in Maryland and two meet in Virginia.  We meet at restaurants to discuss topics related to spina bifida.

Each support group meeting has a host, and we talk about whatever issues the people who attend want to talk about. Topic discussions in the past have included  mobility; tethered cord; shunts; wound care; bowel and bladder control; braces; wheelchairs; building accessibility; learning disabilities; disabled sports programs; preschool programs for children with disabilities; dealing with pain; and seizures, and more.  All are welcome.  The meals are paid for by the association and are free for those who attend.

  • Waldorf, Maryland. Group meets the third Saturday of the Month at Bob Evans – 2355 Crain Hwy (Rt. 301, near the Sam’s Club) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Please call Jill Hill at (703) 455-5223 or JillMHill@verizon.net for more information.
  • Colesville, Maryland.  Group meets the third Sunday of the month at Ledo Pizza at 13444 New Hampshire Avenue (shopping center north of Randolph Road) from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Please contact Georganne Friedrich at (301) 251-5953 or georgannef@verizon.net for more information.
  • Woodbridge, Virginia. Group meets the third Wednesday of the month at the Bob Evans at 14490 Smoketown Road (near Potomac Mills Mall) from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Please call Jill Hill at (703) 455-5223 or JillMHill@verizon.net for more information.
  • Springfield, Virginia. Group meets the third Thursday of the month at the Bob Evans restaurant at 6310 August Drive (Near intersection of Old Keene Mill Rd (Rt 644) and I-95) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.


What Is Spina Bifida?

Spina bifida means “split spine” and is a major permanently disabling birth defect.  It happens during the first month of pregnancy when part of the spine fails to close properly.  Nerves within the spine protrude through the spine and become damaged.  This can result in paralysis or poor sensation in some or all of the muscles in the feet and legs.  Other complications of spina bifida may include hydrocephalus; bowel and bladder control issues; learning disabilities; scoliosis; and other conditions.

The severity of disability among persons with spina bifida varies greatly.  Some have many severe health issues; others have fewer and milder health concerns.  About 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida each year in the United States.  The risk of an unborn child developing spina bifida can be significantly reduced if women take folic acid before becoming pregnant and during the first weeks of pregnancy.


Displaying Creativity

The members of the Spina Bifida Association of the National Capital Area are a group of people with varied skills and interests. Earlier this month, several of our adult group members gathered to share with each other their own hobbies and free time activities. As the pictures attest, a good time was had by all …