Friday, September 6, 2013


The September meeting will be on the 21st, from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm in the Casey Conference Room at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus (17th & Jefferson).  Can't believe that September is here already!!  As always, we welcome drop ins and kids to our meeting.
I've been making a lot of outreach contacts, via email, the last week or so, with mixed results which I expected.  It is always disappointing to find so many not realizing that hydrocephalus is not 'just' a kids' illnes/condition.  Those kids grow up and live full lives--hello!!  Not to mention the families, caregivers and friends of those kids and the adults they become.
As I've said before, our focus is on living a full, rewarding life with hydrocephalus, not searching for 'the cure'.  There are simply so many causes that a one-size-fits-all 'cure' is never going to happen.  In a lot of cases, the key is prevention.  Even that isn't reasonable.  We are always going to have kids, and adults, taking chances and seeing concussions as 'no big deal', when it IS.  Those of us living with the condition know what a big deal it can be!  It isn't going to be reasonable to expect contact sports to not have head injuries/TBIs/concussions being a part of it.
I have a difficult time believing that those retired professional atheletes would have appreciated the potential problems/issues of their decision to be involved in their contact sports of choice.  For years now, we've been hearing brain researchers and those doctors dealing with the brain on a daily basis expressing concerns about 'heading the ball' in soccer.  Even if players hit the sweet spot, deficits in brain funtion have been found, however short or long term.
I'm not against kids taking part in sports and being active, but coaches and parents need to be aware of the negatives, as well as the positives.  In some states (like Washington) kids playing contact sports aren't allowed to re-enter the game if they've taken a shot to the head, until they have been cleared by a team physician.  That means more than a simple 'look 'em over', it means really testing them, to be sure that there isn't any subtle, like a brain bleed that can't be detected simply by looking at the kid.  Or expecting the kid to know whether he/she is healthy enough to play.  A person may not know they have a brain bleed or bruising of their brain.
We are also starting work on our table(s) for the UW's Brain Awareness Open House for 2014.  This year's event was a great success and, as always, we are on the lookout for 'stuff' to top last year's event.  Sponsorships for give away items (reuseable bags, caps, tee-shirts, etc.) are always something we are looking for.  We are a 501(c)(3) organization and have been for sometime, so donations are tax deductable.
I've also been looking at some possible fundraising ideas.  I'll be talking about them at the September meeting.  Most of what I've been doing for the last week is looking for resource lists to be added to.  Even those that don't list us on their websites are often willing to keep our information for future use or give to their members moving to the Washington state area.
Looking forward to the 21st!

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