Hundreds of DC-Area Residents Run and Walk for an Incurable Brain Condition

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The Hydrocephalus Association, the nation's largest and most widely respected organization dedicated solely to serving those with hydrocephalus, hopes to raise research funds and build awareness for this neurological condition that affects an estimated 1 million Americans.

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"Anyone can develop hydrocephalus at any age and it's more prevalent than most people think. It's time to find a cure."

More than 600 runners and walkers will gather in West Potomac Park on Sunday, September 29, to participate in the third annual National Capital 5K Run/WALK for Hydrocephalus. The event will raise research funds and build awareness for hydrocephalus, a brain condition that affects an estimated 1 million Americans.

"There's no cure for hydrocephalus and the current treatment was developed in the 1950s. We need to raise money for research to find a cure and improve treatment options," says Barrett O'Connor, who is the chair of the Hydrocephalus Association Board of Directors. "Anyone can develop hydrocephalus at any age and it's more prevalent than most people think. It's time to find a cure."

Hydrocephalus — commonly known as "water on the brain" — is a condition in which cerebral fluid accumulates in the brain. The predominent treatment is the insertion of a permanent shunt into the patient's brain to drain the fluid. About two in every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus, it is diagnosed in the senior population, and people who sustain even moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can develop the condition. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from moderate to severe brain injury are likely to develop hydrocephalus.

Amanda Garzon, the event co-chair, has a 13 year old daughter with hydrocephalus. "I can't describe the feeling of gratitude I have for all the people who join us to run or walk in this event. Many of us are family members, friends, or individuals ourselves affected by hydrocephalus. But many people also come out to run and have no personal connection to the condition at all. I hope they understand that their participation raises money to support research initiatives that could mean my daughter may not have to have another brain surgery. She is 13 years old and has already had 15 brain surgeries in her life. People who participate are truly making an impact in our lives," says Garzon.

Michael Ticzon, the event co-chair with Amanda said, "We are very excited about our event. We are working with Race DC Timing this year who will set up the course and provide the chrono timing equipment for the runners. We are hoping to make this one of the premiere running events in the Washington DC area for our very active running community."

The DC 5K event on September 29 benefits the Hydrocephalus Association, which has awarded roughly $2.4 million in research grants since launching its research initiative in 2009. In 2012, the Hydrocephalus Association WALKs program raised more than $1 million from 36 sites across the country. This year fundraising is expected to top $1.1 million. All of the proceeds raised at the Hydrocephalus Association WALKs are used to eliminate the challenges of hydrocephalus by funding critical research and education.

Sponsors for the National Capital 5K Run/WALK include: DrinkMore, Giant Food, Georgetown Running, Snikiddy and Winston Wu Photography.

About the Hydrocephalus Association
Founded in 1983 by the parents of children with hydrocephalus, the Hydrocephalus Association is the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated to hydrocephalus. More than 60 percent of HA's funding comes from individual donations and events, and approximately 35 percent comes from foundation and corporate grants. The Hydrocephalus Association’s mission is to eliminate the challenges of hydrocephalus. For more information, visit the Hydrocephalus Association website at http://www.hydroassoc.org or call (888) 598-3789.

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