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HUGS of Florida, Inc.

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Family, Friends and Community Come Together to Raise Awareness of Hydrocephalus


Tampa, FL, August 22, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Jeremy Keyser 7, was born with a serious chronic neurological medical condition known as hydrocephalus. His mother Paula, says, “When Jeremy was born we really had no idea what the future held or if there would be any future. We didn’t know anybody else with Hydrocephalus so we decided to start our own support group.” Today, Paula’s group is the first official affiliate of the Hydrocephalus Association and on Saturday, September 6, 2008 she will be holding their 4th annual Hydrocephalus Walk to raise funds for the Association and awareness of hydrocephalus.

Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of fluid in the brain that affects an estimated one million Americans of all ages. One to two in every thousand children are born with it but it can affect you at any stage of life. The repercussions of hydrocephalus can be severe, particularly in children. There is only one standard treatment for the condition, called a shunt which is a small tube that drains the excess fluid from the brain. Even though it is a simple mechanism, shunts fail at an alarming rate resulting in potentially dozens of surgeries in a lifetime.

“Jeremy didn’t walk until he was 27 months old and couldn’t eat solid foods until he was 4.5 years old. Now he’s 7 and going into first grade,” says proud mom, Paula. “The biggest challenge for me is that it’s not a matter of ‘If’ Jeremy will have another surgery; it’s a matter of ‘When’. It feels like I hold my breath every day.”

Not being one who can stand still, Paula has joined with others who are similarly dedicated to raising awareness. Due to the efforts of Bill Vincent of Tarpon Springs, the state of Florida has recently adopted House Resolution 2003 naming September 2008 as Hydrocephalus Awareness month. And on Saturday, September 9th, Paula her co-organizer for the event Jill Horn and dozens of others: friends, family, concerned citizens and those living with hydrocephalus will gather at Largo Central Park at 101 Central Park Drive, Largo, FL for the inspirational event.

Registration is at 9 am and the start time is at 10, although pre-registering on the website is highly recommended. Refreshments will be available and after the WALK, a Silent Auction will be held as well as a picnic. To find out how you can participate or donate, please go to: http://www.hydroassoc.org/help/WALK and click on Tampa, FL WALK.

All money raised will benefit the Hydrocephalus Association, a non-profit organization, providing support education and advocacy to individuals, families and medical professionals dealing with hydrocephalus. This includes driving research initiatives for hydrocephalus at the federal level and exploring opportunities to directly fund private research.

“The Hydrocephalus Association is privileged to have Paula as the leader of the Associations wonderful supportive local network in Tampa Bay Florida,” says Pip Marks, Director of Support and Education. “Paula is one of the first Hydrocephalus Association Affiliates to help coordinate local support and increase awareness of hydrocephalus. Her dedication to supporting educating and advocating for all of those with hydrocephalus is inspirational.”

To join or simply donate, please contact Paula Keyser at hydrosupport@gmail.com or Jill Horn at jbarrett22@yahoo.com. Participants can also join the Tampa, FL Hydrocephalus Walk on Sat, September 6th. Registration starts at 9 am, walk begins at 10am at Largo Central Park at 101 Central Park Drive, Largo, FL.

To learn more about hydrocephalus or the Hydrocephalus Association, contact Tom Smith at (415) 732-7043 or tom@hydroassoc.org

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Contact Information
Hydrocephalus Association - Tampa Bay Affiliate
Paula Keyser
727-637-5585
Contact
www.gothydro.org

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