3rd Annual Hydrocephalus Walkathon Event at Largo Central Park Continues to Grow and Reach Out to More Local Families

Largo, FL, August 14, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Last year in September, over 60 individuals gathered in Largo Central Park wearing bright orange t-shirts as part of Team Hydrocephalus. This event is the annual campaign for a very determined husband and wife who live in Largo and have now become the Tampa Bay Affiliate of the Hydrocephalus Association. Last year, the Keyser’s and their ‘TEAM’ raised $8,529.00 for the Hydrocephalus Association. The money goes towards programs for the families served by the Association.

The Hydrocephalus Association, established in 1983, raises awareness, and advocates for research while supporting families dealing with this incurable condition. This year, the walk will be on Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 starting at 9:00am at shelter #1 in Largo Central Park.

In April of 2004, the Keyser’s held their very first picnic at their home in hopes of finding other families going through the same situation as theirs. Their son, Jeremy, who turned six years old in July, was born with this condition due to an intraventricular hemorrhage prior to birth. Jeremy’s condition is treated with a programmable shunt. Other than a few setbacks and delays, Jeremy should be able to live a normal healthy life. However, shunts do come with complications and their drawbacks.

Consider these statistics:

Hydrocephalus - More common than you might think.
- Affects hundreds of thousands of Americans
- Diagnosed in people of all ages, from infants to elders
- One in every 1,000 babies is born with Hydrocephalus
- The most common reason for brain surgery in children

Although it is treatable…
- There is no cure for this chronic condition
- The only know treatment is neurosurgical
- It requires over 40,000 surgeries per year in the U.S. (one every fifteen minutes)
- In adults, this reversible dementia and gait disorder often goes undiagnosed and untreated

There is still more to do.
- Even after treatment, many people face repeated surgeries and diminished quality of life
- Medical costs exceed $1 billion per year

Paula’s son, Jeremy will be walking again on September 2nd, 2007, for the 3rd year in a row. It took him 27 months to take his first steps due to the setbacks he had at birth caused by Hydrocephalus but he has overcome the odds. Through the persistence of his parents continuing Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy, and the determination of those wonderful therapists at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, he will be able to grow up like any other kid in America. Jeremy will be starting Kindergarten this year at McMullen Booth Elementary School.

If you would like more information, or would like to do a story about Hydrocephalus and this support group, please contact Paula Keyser at (727) 415-7339 or email her at hydrosupport@gmail.com. She is also an active volunteer with All Children’s Hospital Seminole/Largo Guild and the Development Council in St. Petersburg.

More Info About Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus, more commonly known as ‘water on the brain’ is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within cavities called ventricles inside the brain. CSF is produced in the ventricles, circulates through the ventricular system, and is absorbed into the bloodstream. CSF is in constant circulation and has many important functions. It surrounds the brain and spinal cord and acts as a protective cushion against injury. CSF contains nutrients and proteins necessary for the nourishment and Normal function of the brain. Hydrocephalus occurs when there is an imbalance between the amount of CSF that is produced and the rate at which it is absorbed. As the CSF builds up, it causes the ventricles to enlarge and the pressure inside the head to increase. Hydrocephalus that is congenital (present at birth) is thought to be caused by a complex interaction of environmental and perhaps genetic factors. Aqueductal Stenosis and Spina Bifida are two examples Acquired Hydrocephalus may result from intraventricular hemorrhage, meningitis, head trauma, tumors and cysts. Hydrocephalus is believed to occur in about one out of every 1,000 live births. The incidences of adult-onset hydrocephalus and acquired hydrocephalus are not known. There is no known way to prevent or cure hydrocephalus. The most effective treatment is surgical insertion of a shunt.

Hydrocephalus Association - Tampa Bay Affiliate
Paula Keyser