LARGO – Jeremy Keyser, 7, was born with a serious chronic neurological medical condition known as hydrocephalus.
“When Jeremy was born we really had no idea what the future held or if there would be any future,” his mother, Paula, said. “We didn’t know anybody else with hydrocephalus so we decided to start our own support group.”
Today, Keyser’s group is the first official affiliate of the Hydrocephalus Association and on Sept. 6 she will spearhead the Fourth Annual Hydrocephalus Walk here to raise funds for the association and awareness of hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of fluid in the brain that affects an estimated 1 million Americans of all ages. One to two in every 1,000 children are born with it, but it can affect you at any stage of life. The repercussions of hydrocephalus can be severe, particularly in children. There is only one standard treatment for the condition, called a shunt which is a small tube that drains the excess fluid from the brain. Even though it is a simple mechanism, shunts fail at an alarming rate resulting in potentially dozens of surgeries in a lifetime.
“Jeremy didn’t walk until he was 27 months old and couldn’t eat solid foods until he was 41/2 years old,” Keyser said.
Due to the efforts of Bill Vincent of Tarpon Springs, the state of Florida has recently adopted House Resolution 2003 designating September as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. And on Sept. 6 concerned citizens and those living with hydrocephalus will gather at Largo Central Park at 101 Central Park Drive for the inspirational event.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Refreshments will be available and a silent auction will be held as well as a picnic. Visit www.hydroassoc.org/help/walk and click on Tampa, FL WALK for more information.