Top Hospitals in World’s Largest Medical Center Join Patients to Raise Awareness for Neglected Brain Condition

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Memorial Hermann’s Mischer Neuroscience Institute, Children’s Memorial Hermann and Texas Children’s Hospital are major sponsors again for the Hydrocephalus Association’s 3rd annual fundraising WALK at the Houston Zoo on September 20, 2014.

Houston, TX Hydrocephalus Association WALK 2013 Topper Giraffe
There is no cure for hydrocephalus and there are currently only two treatment options, both of which require brain surgery. We need to raise money for research to find a cure and improve treatment options.

Memorial Hermann’s Mischer Neuroscience Institute, Children’s Memorial Hermann and Texas Children’s Hospital will join over 500 walkers representing local families, corporations and community organizations as they mobilize for the Hydrocephalus Association’s (HA) 3rd Annual Houston, TX WALK on Saturday, September 20, 2014 at the Houston Zoo. Memorial Hermann’s Mischer Neuroscience Institute and Children’s Memorial Hermann have upgraded their sponsorships this year to Platinum level and Texas Children’s Hospital has generously sponsored again at the Gold level for this family-friendly event. Texas Children’s Hospital is one of ten hospital sites in North America that are part of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN). The HCRN is partly underwritten by the Hydrocephalus Association and Dr. William Whitehead, Director of Clinical Research and Outcomes Program at Texas Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine is part of the HCRN’s leadership team.

"There is no cure for hydrocephalus and there are currently only two treatment options, both of which require brain surgery. We need to raise money for research to find a cure and improve treatment options," stated Sarah Besuegli, one of the event co-chairs and mother to 6 year-old Alan, who acquired hydrocephalus due to an intraventricular hemorrhage he developed after the family was hit by a drunk driver. "Critical research funding and awareness for hydrocephalus are desperately needed as the National Institutes of Health funds only about $650,000 per year. Hydrocephalus is as common as Down’s Syndrome and despite having a comparable number of Americas affected by it as Parkinson’s, it only receives 1/30th the public research funding."

Hydrocephalus is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within cavities in the brain. Over one million Americans live with hydrocephalus. 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, including many in the military who sustained head injuries while in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not uncommon for those affected to have more surgeries than birthdays. The Hydrocephalus Association began funding research in 2009 to seek better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure. Since then, HA has committed well over $3 million to fund critical research initiatives and is the largest non-profit, non-governmental funder of hydrocephalus research in the world.

The walk begins at 8:00 am. Registration and check in are open at 7:00 am. Dr. Scott Anderson with Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry has sponsored a Kid’s Activity Zone that will include crafts, face painting, games and an appearance by Children’s Memorial Hermann’s giraffe mascot Topper. Children’s Memorial Hermann has additionally sponsored an animal experience where participants will get to encounter up to four zoo animals during two hours of after WALK festivities. Families with hydrocephalus are invited to tell their story in poster format to be displayed on Ambassador Avenue. Participants raising $50 or more will receive an HA WALK T-shirt and those who raise anywhere from $250 to $10,000 or more will win prizes ranging from totes and luxe umbrellas to a Kindle Fire with case. Please contact event co-chair/teams chair Janine Matheson at hawalk_houstonteams(at)hydroassoc(dot)biz or (281) 224-7526 for more information. There is still time to register to participate as a team or an individual walker by visiting http://hawalk.kintera.org/Houston and if you or your organization are interested in volunteering please contact event co-chair/volunteers coordinator Amber Marin at hawalk_houstonvolunteers(at)hydroassoc(dot)biz.

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 Web site at http://www.hydroassoc.org or call (888) 598-3789.

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Amanda Garzon

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