Walking for Emma, walking for hydrocephalus

A few weeks ago, we posted our September RAK video about how hydrocephalus has affected the Richards family of Litchfield Park.

Jennifer and Bill Richards discovered their daughter Emma, 4, had hydrocephalus- a condition that causes cerebral spinal fluid to build up in the skull– when she was just 12 weeks old. They spoke to us about how they found out:

We loved meeting Emma at Cardon Children’s. She’s a determined little girl who asks plenty of questions and adores her daddy.

There hasn’t been much change in how hydrocephalus is treated (a surgical shunt is placed in the brain that drains the fluid in to the abdomen) since the 1960s.

For over fifty years.

Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. David Moss, who takes care of Emma, told us that in the years before this surgery was performed, the condition was fatal.

Read more on what causes hydrocephalus.

Still, the shunt must be replaced if it stops working for any reason, or when a child outgrows the size of the tubing used to drain the fluid. That means brain surgery.

It is not uncommon for someone with hydrocephalus to undergo numerous surgeries –and risk the possibility of the side effects that go along with the procedure — over the course of a lifetime.

It’s time for a cure, or at least a better fix.

As if taking care of Emma and her two siblings and going back to school herself wasn’t enough, Jennifer, Emma’s mom, wanted to do something more to try to help those coping with hydrocephalus. She’s organized the walk in Phoenix for the cause.

If you’d like to help kids like Emma, or any of the thousands of children and adults who face the challenges of living with hydrocephalus, consider signing up for the walk. It’s sponsored by the Hydrocephalus Association. Here’s the info:

Hydrocephalus Association Walk

Sunday, November 13, 2011. Registration starts at 7 a.m.

The Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix.

Register online here.

The walk starts at 8 a.m.

Participants can walk as individuals, or in teams. Registering online automatically generates a personal WALK page that enables participants to generate emails to friends and family. It also makes sponsorship easy- donations can be processed by credit card.

Prizes are awarded according to funds raised by participants.

MORE INFO:  Call 623-512-1721 or 888-598-3789

Email: info@hydroassoc.org



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