Senator Flanagan To Serve As Honorary Chairman At 4th Annual Hydrocephalus Walk

 


Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) will serve as the honorary chairperson of the 4th annual Hydrocephalus WALK to help raise awareness of this condition.  This year’s walk, which organizers hope will raise awareness and funding for this incurable condition, will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday September 26th at Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon.  


Senator Flanagan earlier this year sponsored a Senate resolution that designated the month of September as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in New York State and the walk on September 26th is part of the statewide commemoration.  Last year’s event brought together over 300 people and raised over $30,000.


According to the Hydrocephalus Association web site, hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of fluid inside the brain.  The condition may occur at any age and is a lifelong condition that affects over one million Americans from newborns to adults.  While experts estimate that the disease affects one in every 500 children, the causes are unknown.


The symptoms of hydrocephalus vary with age, disease progression, and individual differences in tolerance to the condition.  In an infant, the most obvious indication of hydrocephalus is often a rapid increase in head circumference or an unusually large head size.  


Other symptoms may  include  vomiting,  sleepiness,  irritability, downward deviation of the eyes and seizures; and older children and adults may experience headache followed by vomiting,  nausea,  papilledema, blurred or double vision, sunsetting of the eyes, problems with balance, poor  coordination,  gait  disturbance, urinary incontinence, slowing or loss of developmental progress, lethargy,  drowsiness, irritability, or other changes in personality or cognition including memory loss.


Most often, hydrocephalus is treated by surgically inserting a  shunt system which diverts the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to another area of the body where it can be absorbed as part of the normal circulatory process.  About 40,000 shunt operations are performed each year in this country as standard treatment for this condition but due to the lack of advancement in treatment methods, many people with hydrocephalus are unable to lead full and productive lives.


All of the proceeds from the September 26th walk will benefit the programs of the Hydrocephalus Association, a national non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocacy to individuals, families and medical professionals dealing with the complex issues of hydrocephalus, as well as research to find a cure.


“It is an honor to participate in this special event and to help the Hydrocephalus Association in their efforts to raise awareness and find a cure.  This is a disease that for many is an unknown and it important that everyone has all the facts they need to protect themselves and their loved ones,” stated Senator Flanagan.  “Hopefully, this event will be bigger than last year and I invite everyone to come join us on September 26th to continue the fight against hydrocephalus.”


Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the walk and family fun activities beginning at 10:30 a.m.  For more information about the walk, please e-mail or call Mia Padron at p-mia@hydroassoc.org 631-588-8846 or call Jackie Davidson at 631-462-2092.


Residents who would like more information about hydrocephalus should visit the Hydrocephalus Association’s web site at www.hydroassoc.org.