Thursday, October 3, 2013
September came and went with hardly a word spoken about National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. Frankly, little was said about National Alzheimers Awareness Month either. Now we are into October and you can't swing a cat (as they say) without hitting on something pink or entire panels of talk shows talking about breast cancer. Even there, men with breast cancer is barely mentioned. Although I was pleasantly surprised to hear a local reporter talking about male breast cancer screening at the Mammography mobile.
Back to hydrocephalus, it is a shame that so little is said about it when the subject has so many angles to explore. Tying it in with Alzheimers awareness, brain injury awareness, etc. Talking about how it can be acquired at ANY age. Bringing up NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) and the 5-15% of cases of NPH that are first mistakenly thought to be Alzheimers or Parkinsons. Found early, NPH is SO treatable!
I was hoping that some of actor Boris Kojo's interviews the last month or so would have included a discussion (or mention) of hydrocephalus, since it hits close to home for him. But nothing. It also would have been a great time for Shonda Rhimes (sp) of Grey's Anatomy to mention it, since the character of Zola has hydrocephalus. I LOVE the fact that Zola is shown as an active child who happens to have hydrocephalus, not as a child who is always having surgeries & fulfilling that doom & gloom picture that so many paint of those of us living with hydrocephalus.
I was really hoping that some of the former football players and others with high profiles might do some PSAs for National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, but nothing.
I'm waiting for the pamphlets and fact sheets to come in so we can put together the packets for the Seattle Police Dept. I want to get as many of those packets out to the members of the police force so that they, as first responders, have a bit more knowledge about hydrocephalus, its causes and head injuries in general. I'd also like to see some tie-ins with our group in raising awareness in Washington state, particularly Western Washington. It really is important for those of us in the brain oriented community (be it hydrocephalus, brain injury, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, etc.) to come together & be part of the public discussion on brain injury, TBIs in terms of prevention, not just focusing on research and 'cures'.
It really is frightening to look at how much research, in general, is being halted because of the Government Shutdown. Not to mention the support services that are suspended because of this. It isn't just those with hydrocephalus living with a sense of isolation and a need to reach out to others living with the same condition. Potentially, there are literally lives hanging in the balance because of this. It isn't just adult lives either. We know the importance of nutrition and brain health, yet programs like WIC (Women Infants & Children) is having to deny access to food and services (including education) to the most vulnerable among us--children. No child left behind?! Nutritional impoverishment can have lifelong consequences that leave them VERY far behind. Of course, our focus is on children with already compromised brain health.
What a month!