San Francisco Couple Honored for Touching Countless Lives Through the Non-Profit They Founded Thirty Years Ago

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Russell and Emily Fudge will be recognized in New York City at a special event benefiting the Hydrocephalus Association, the nation’s largest and most widely respected non-profit dedicated to supporting the one million Americans affected by this brain condition.

The Hydrocephalus Association announced today that Russell and Emily Fudge will receive the Vision Award for Leadership at the 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 hydrocephalus, a chronic neurological condition that can affect anyone at any stage of life. The Leadership Award honors Russell and Emily Fudge’s vision and initiative in founding the Hydrocephalus Association which, over the last 30 years, has provided countless families the support and encouragement they need to understand and overcome the challenges of hydrocephalus, and, more recently, the strategy needed to fund the critical research that provides the hope of a cure.

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.

The couple was introduced to hydrocephalus in 1981 when their son, Gerard Swartz Fudge, was diagnosed at age 11. As an outgrowth of their determination to learn more about the condition, they joined forces with other parents to establish the Hydrocephalus Association in 1983. During the association’s formative years, Emily, Russell and fellow co-founder Cynthia Solomon worked tirelessly, with the help of many committed volunteers, to increase the amount of information available about hydrocephalus. Their tenacity in identifying and building a collaborative community – of parents, patients, medical professionals and industry members – evolved into an international force providing support, education, advocacy and research.

Gerard died in 1992, but Emily and Russell remained committed to the goals and growth of the association. Russell has sat on the board of directors since its inception, while Emily, after serving as executive director for 20 years, continues to support the association through the annual WALK program and at national conferences.

The First Annual Vision Dinner is hosted by Craig and Vicki Brown, major benefactors of the Hydrocephalus Association.

"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 its challenges. We are honored to have Russell and Emily here for this special evening that we hope 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. 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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