The Illinois Spina Bifida Association┬« (ISBA) is a  non-profit organization dedicated to improving  the quality of life of people with spina bifida through direct services, information, referral, research, and public awareness.


For information on our upcoming charity events, please visit our Events page.

Illinois Spina Bifida Association depends upon public donations to continue its work. You can help!  Making a donation through our secure server is fast and easy, and when we receive your donation, we will send you an acknowledgement in the mail for tax purposes. Click the button below to make a donation.  Thank you for your support!


Spina bifida is the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy and results in varying degrees of paralysis, loss of sensation in the lower limbs, difficulty with bowel and bladder management, hydrocephalus, and learning disabilities. It takes a team of parents, doctors, therapists, teachers and others to help a person with spina bifida achieve maximum potential. But with proper attention, that person's potential is unlimited.

The cause of spina bifida is unknown, and the scientific community is unable to explain whether the determinants of spina bifida are genetic or environmental. Recent scientific research, however, shows that folic acid, a common B vitamin, may prevent more than half of all spina bifida births. According to the United States Center for Disease Control, if all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant would consume 0.4 mg. of folic acid per day, the incidence of spina bifida could be reduced by over 70%.

The ISBA was founded in 1969 as a 501(c)3 non-profit social and health services advocacy organization, providing programs and direct services that help individuals with spina bifida live to their fullest potential. The mission, of the ISBA is to improve the quality of life for people with spina bifida and their families through direct services, information, referrals, and public awareness. The ISBA currently operates twenty-two (22) programs for nearly 1,000 families in Illinois, most of whom live in the greater Metropolitan Chicago area. The ISBA currently manages its programs and direct services with only two staff members, one full time and one part-time, and with the assistance of many volunteers.

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