Announcing our Hydrocephalus Association TTC Scholarship Recipients!

Congratulations to our 2012 Hydrocephalus Association Teens Take Charge Scholarship Recipients!

We are so pleased and honored to announce a new scholarship available through the Hydrocephalus Association’s Teens Take Charge Program (TTC).

TTC trains teenagers and young adults (and their siblings), who are affected by hydrocephalus, to take charge of the condition and become self-advocates with both health professionals and with their legislators. Through a generous grant from the Medtronic Foundation, the Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is able to award five scholarships, in the amount of $1,000, to teens and young adults (ages 17 to 25) who are affected by hydrocephalus. We commend these young adults for their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and perseverance. They are an inspiration to everyone at the Hydrocephalus Association and to our entire community!

We are grateful for the Medtronic Foundation’s continued support and all the individuals who held events and contributed to TTC. They have made it possible for HA to create a real “teen and young adult community” that is making great strides around the primary goals of the program.

Congratulations 2012 Scholarship Recipients!


Jamile Hill
Chesapeake, Virginia

“Just because a person has hydrocephalus it does not mean that they are unable to learn. Informing others about hydrocephalus and the strength and perseverance of individuals with this disorder is important to me.”

Jamile is a student at Tidewater Community College where she is majoring in social science. She is a diligent, dedicated, honor roll student and plans on pursuing a career in Forensics or Cultural Anthropology. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, reading books, drawing, writing poems, and spending quality time with her pets.

Born two months premature, Jamile acquired hydrocephalus as a result of a stroke and brain bleed in her ventricles. She has endured nine shunt revisions, required two VP shunt systems, and underwent years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy. “I have a learning disability that requires me to have accommodations in school.” Jamie nevertheless rises above and works exceptionally hard to succeed in school. She tells us, “to be honest these challenges motivate me to work harder in school. I have learned how to advocate for myself and ask for help instead of giving up.”


Lucas Russell
Verona, Wisconsin

“I have learned what my strengths and weaknesses are, techniques that work for me, how to advocate for myself, and perhaps most important of all, how to be persistent in pursuing success even when things seem overwhelmingly difficult.”

Lucas is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he plans to major in Marine Biology with a second or minor major in Psychology. He is a passionate wheelchair basketball player and an avid wheelchair track and field athlete. His hobbies, interests, and favorite activities include sports, animals, church activities, and German language and culture.

Born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, Luke received his first wheelchair when he was 15 months old. Though he has had his struggles, Luke never let that detract him from his own personal goals and, consequently, from helping people look beyond his chronic health conditions to see his true self and spirit.
To read more about Lucas click here.


Siobhan Powell
Castro Valley, California

“I have used my hydrocephalus not as a crutch but as a way to rise above and meet my challenges.”

Siobhan is a student at City College of San Francisco where she intends to major in Occupational Therapy.  She enjoys reading, Irish step dancing, swims competitively and has been a camp counselor at various summer camps.

Diagnosed with hydrocephalus at 6 weeks old, doctors gave Siobhan a poor prognosis and offered little hope to her parents. Due to severe damage to her optic nerve, she is unable to drive. Siobhan has faced more challenges and obstacles than most people her age, but she continues to beat the odds and is determined to prove to her doctors and herself that she can reach any goal she sets for herself. “Having hydrocephalus has made me more aware and understanding of people with special needs… It has helped me achieve my goals because I have had to work harder than others to achieve my goals. It has made me work harder for everything I do.”

Siobhan is an active member of the hydrocephalus community and has taken part in a Support Group at Children’s Hospital Research Center Oakland and participated in the Team Hydro swim to Alcatraz.


Shawn Berg
Arlington, Washington

Shawn is a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is studying Mechanical Engineering and will most likely pursue a minor in Math and Aerospace Engineering. He loves spending time with his family, has a passion for sports and classic cars, and has a strong desire to give back to his community.

Shawn was diagnosed with a brain tumor which resulted in developing hydrocephalus. Although the tumor left him blind, he continues to live life to the fullest and has a “never give up” attitude.

Shawn’s favorite sport is wrestling because as he states I can succeed at it even with my vision loss”. Shawn has won numerous awards for wrestling, was a team captain, and even participated in the Arlington-Germany Wrestling Exchange program. He has used the leadership skills he learned through the sport in giving back to the community by volunteering his time to help out with youth and middle school wrestling programs.

Shawn’s advice to those living with hydrocephalus is to not let the condition control your life. “Be active and involved in sports and other activities that interest you. You cannot control everything that happens in life, so try not to worry about what you cannot control and live your life to the fullest and embrace what you have been given.


Prisca Patrick
Clinton, Mississippi

Prisca is a student at Jackson State University where she is majoring in Finance and minoring in Spanish. She plans on obtaining an internship or job at a bank and in the Spring of 2013 she will be studying aboard. Both of these opportunities will give her the ability to advance and strengthen her finance and Spanish skills

Prisca has an extensive background in volunteering and has worked with different organizations, including Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA), Blair E. Batson for Children, Camp Smile-A-Mile, and the American Cancer Society. In her spare time, she loves to cook and mentor children. Currently, she is working with Greek organizations at her college to host a campus-wide kickball tournament, in which the proceeds from the game will go towards St. Jude Research Hospital. In addition to her community work, Prisca is very involved with her church, in the young adult choir, and puppet ministry.

At 15 months, Prisca was diagnosed with Stage IV Ependymona.  She underwent chemotherapy treatments, multiple surgeries, and constantly deals with migraines. Though Prisca has experienced many adversities in her life, she embraces the different struggles that she has gone through. Her long-term goal and dream is to start a nonprofit, which would focus on helping children with cancer, disabilities, domestic violence, and drunk driving. “My goal is to help children and youth in need through my different life experiences.”

“I will not stop working towards my dreams and goals… I will continue to be the best Prisca that I can be. I have a goal that I have to reach. I have a purpose to fulfill. I will achieve.”