MacArthur Foundation Genius Award Recipient to Keynote the First Annual Vision Dinner to Benefit the Hydrocephalus Association

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Dr. Benjamin Warf, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, will raise awareness of an incurable brain condition.

Our hope is that this special evening will result in greater knowledge of the Hydrocephalus Association’s progress in both treatment protocols and research.

The Hydrocephalus Association announced today that renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Benjamin Warf, will serve as the keynote speaker at its first annual Vision Dinner on October 10, 2013, in New York City. The event entitled, "A Time for Awareness. The Hope for a Cure," will bring together politicians, neurosurgeons, scientists, advocates, and business leaders, at a special evening to raise the public profile of an incurable brain condition affecting 1 million Americans. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. There is no cure and the only treatment option requires brain surgery. The prevalent treatment is the implantation of a shunt, a medical device developed over 50 years ago that has a high failure rate, relegating patients to a lifetime of brain surgery.

Dr. Benjamin Warf is a pediatric neurosurgeon with Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School. He was named a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and received a MacArthur "Genius" Grant for his groundbreaking work. Dr. Warf received international recognition as an innovator in hydrocephalus treatment for the development of a new surgical technique that could eliminate the need for a shunt in infants who are viable candidates. The technique, which pairs endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization, avoids the use of a shunt which is an expensive piece of medical technology, particularly in developing countries, and helps to avoid further surgical interventions. Pediatric neurosurgeons both abroad and in the U.S. are now being trained on the new technique.

"There is hope, and the hope is tangible," asserts Dr. Warf. While these surgical treatments bring the medical and patient community closer to a stable maintenance of the condition, they are not a cure. This event will raise awareness about hydrocephalus and the critical need for increased public attention and funding for research.

The First Annual Vision Dinner is hosted by Craig and Vicki Brown, major benefactors of the Hydrocephalus Association, the nation’s largest and most widely respected non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating the challenges of this condition.

"We are very thankful to be able to increase awareness of this under-represented condition and to bring attention to the many families that are living with it challenges. Our hope is that this special evening will result in greater knowledge of the Hydrocephalus Association’s progress in both treatment protocols and research, and will serve to inspire others to join us on our journey to increase investments in hydrocephalus research that will lead to a cure," stated Vicki Brown, who has a son with hydrocephalus.

The event will be held at the Apella Alexandria Conference Center located within the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City. Tom Colicchio, celebrity chef and judge of Bravo’s Top Chef, will cater the event. In addition to raising awareness of this condition, the Hydrocephalus Association will acknowledge champions in the fight to eradicate hydrocephalus.

For more information about the event or about hydrocephalus, please contact visiondinner2013(at)hydroassoc(dot)org.

About the Hydrocephalus Association

The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is a charitable organization dedicated to eliminating the challenges of hydrocephalus by stimulating research and supporting people who are affected by this condition. Incorporated as a non-profit in 1986, HA is now the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated solely to serving those affected by hydrocephalus. HA has been instrumental in creating a community of individuals, families and health care professionals addressing the complexities of hydrocephalus in all age groups.

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Amanda Garzon
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