To raise awareness of Hydrocephalus and support the 8th Annual Hydrocephalus WALK, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) recently welcomed Mia Padron and Jackie Davidson of the Hydrocephalus Association to his office. During the visit, Senator Flanagan presented them with a New York State Senate resolution designating the month of September as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in New York State.
Ms. Padron and Ms. Davidson are coordinating this year’s walk, which will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 22nd at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon. All of the proceeds from the upcoming 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.
According to the two coordinators, last year’s event brought together over 700 people and raised more than $73,000. They hope that the upcoming walk will continue to increase awareness and raise funding for this incurable condition which experts estimate affects one in every 500 children.
According to the Hydrocephalus Association web site, hydrocephalus is an abnormal accumulation of fluid inside the brain whose cause is unknown. The condition may occur at any age and is a lifelong condition that affects over one million Americans from newborns to adults. 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.
"Many New Yorkers are unfamiliar with the effects of this disease and it important that they have access to all the information they need to protect their families. I commend the work of everyone involved in the effort to raise awareness and hope our community will join them on September 22nd to help make the 8th Annual Hydrocephalus WALK the most successful one yet,” stated Senator Flanagan.
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 questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mia Padron at 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.