Thursday, March 27, 2014


Just wanted to add our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the survivors of the Oso, Washington landslide.   It has been such a shock to everyone.

I also wanted to add our group's thanks to the first responders and the subsequent folks who are helping to search for survivors and clean up after this horrific disaster.

My mother's family is from a small town in Iowa, about the same size as Oso.  I totally understand the connections of the community members.

The Schulte Family: One Year Anniversary of DUI Accident

I can't believe that it has been a year since the tragic accident,  caused by a repeat drunk driver, that took the lives of Dan Schulte's parents & forever altered the lives of Karina (Dan's wife) & their son, who was just weeks old at the time.  The news has, somewhat, addressed the damage done to the survivors, but not enough attention, in my opinion, has been focused enough on the lasting impact left by the careless, senseless, selfish act of, yet another, drunk driver.

For Dan's young wife to have to relearn to walk, talk and live again after receiving a severe TBI, then having a stroke, is a challenge no one should have to endure.  Again, at the hands of someone who has demonstrated, time & time again, what little regard they have for others, is SO wrong.

Our members have been talking about this case for a year now.  As our group is so aware, traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone, at any age, through no fault of their own.  In this case it was a family taking a walk with their newborn baby, just walking down the sidewalk.  Our thoughts and prayers have always been with the family. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014



Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, Medtronic for the shunt doll and supplies.  We greatly appreciate the gift.  It will be used for many years to come at our events, including Brain Awareness events at the University of Washington.  It will also be a great addition to our supplies for classroom presentations.

It was a welcome surprise to receive it yesterday when I came home.

I'll be taking it to the April 19th meeting at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus.  As always, we will be meeting in the Casey Conference Rm in the hospital's dining hall, from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm.  We'll have a lot to discuss, in addition to the new doll.

Thanks, again, Medtronic!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

RE: Seattle Helicopter Crash Near The Space Needle


Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the photojournalist & pilot of the helicopter, as well as those impacted by the horrific accident.  It was a shock to everyone, from the whole media community (especially KOMOTV & KING5, who shared use of the helicopter) to residents who have watched the work these two victims did for decades.  While we didn't necessarily know their names, they were as much a part of the news delivery to the region as those whos faces we recognize.  The images and information they delivered to the viewers of the region were compelling in so many ways.

Over ten million people visit the Seattle Center and Space Needle every year.  Thank goodness this didn't happen during one of the most popular times for tourists/visitors to the area.  It was a bit too close for me.  I've worked on the Seattle Center grounds, off and on, for many years.  This happened just off the Seattle Center grounds.

I'm sure that this will also be a topic discussed at the April meeting, just because it will still be on our minds and in our hearts.

Yesterday they interviewed a number of local newspeople who knew the pilot and the photojournalist, most of them were longtime co-workers.  Many of those interviewed are people I grew up watching, and who are now retired.  It was great seeing them, but sad to see them back onscreen for such a tragic situation.


Monday, March 17, 2014

March Meeting

As always, it was great seeing familiar faces at the meeting.  Also always look forward to new faces at each meeting.
We reviewed how the Brain Awareness open house event went.  While there were a few less kids, parents and teachers there this year, we all agreed that it was very successful.  As I've said before, we did miss the regulars that were unable to attend this year's event.  We are already looking forward to next year!
We  talked a bit about other issues, like CTE.  It seems that there is something new discovered about CTE almost daily!   It was great having some hand out materials from the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) at our table this year.  The hand out materials were taken by almost everyone--especially parents and teachers.  There were a few coaches in attendance, so we had a tie-in with the CTE issue.
The Sunday Seattle Times (March 16th) had a very compelling article about a former Seahawk who was found to have died from complications from CTE.  I'm hoping to be able to reprint the article or at least have a link in the future.
One of the tv stations, locally, also did an interview with a former Olympic soccer player who had to leave the sport because of complications from her one and only concussion.  She still has complications years later!
Looking forward to April's meeting.  2014 is going by so fast!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Hard to believe that we are already looking at the March meeting for 2014!  It will be held this Saturday (March 15) from 12:45 pm to 3:00 pm in the Casey Conference Room at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus (17th & E. Jefferson).
We will be discussing this month's Brain Awareness event, plans for the 2015 event & our class presentation later this month, as well as what we are doing personally.
As always, we are looking forward to new faces.  Drop ins & kids are welcome.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


The Brain Awareness Open House event at the University of Washington was a great success!  We saw several hundred students (grades 4-12) from Western Washington schools.  Answered a lot of questions about hydrocephalus and handed out lots of literature about all types of the condition.
We saw kids from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, but it didn't seem as chaotic as it has in some years past.  Don't get me wrong, we still saw throngs of kids, teachers and parents during the event, which is always great.  As always, it was tiring, but in a good way.
Unfortunately, my surprise didn't happen, but I'm looking forward to next year.  I'm hoping that the same surprise will happen at next year's event.
This year's event had exhibits that were returnees, as well as new ones.  The preserved brains and spinal cords were back.  Very popular with the kids, particularly the grade school boys!
I should have photos to add to the blog shortly.  The organizer took some and Dean Andersen, Kim's dad, took some.
Again, I want to thank Medtronic for sending the squishy brains and 'stuff' to hand out.  We missed our usual shunt rep, but we soldiered on with our foam head and shunt demo.  I'd also like to thank National Hydrocephalus Foundation's (NHF) Debbi Fields for sending us newsletters and 'stuff' to add to the table.  I also made a point to hand out the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) information about concussions.  That was very popular with teachers and parents.  We also has some updated hydrocephalus information.
Looks like we're going to be doing at least one class presentation at the end of the month.  It should be interesting, being able to answer questions from the kids and give them a more personal perspective from those of us living with hydrocephalus, as well as a parent or two with many years of experience.
I'm going to go take a nap now.  I'm SO tired!!