A Better Way Forward

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Barrett OConnorSpecial Holiday Message from the Hydrocephalus Association Chairwoman of the Board of Directors

I’m writing to wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a wonderful new year — full of good health. I’d also like to express my appreciation for your past support of the Hydrocephalus Association (HA), a community that stands together to face and ultimately eliminate the challenges of living with hydrocephalus.

I remember how scared and vulnerable I felt when my daughter Emily was first diagnosed with hydrocephalus. I had never heard of the condition, did not know how to care for a child with hydrocephalus and knew no one with hydrocephalus. When I discovered that the only treatment for her condition involved brain surgery, I knew I had to look beyond our doctors’ offices to find a way to make it through the day and get answers to my questions.

I quickly discovered HA and found a lot more than answers to my questions. Like a guiding light, HA has provided clarity and a supportive community which has become a part of my extended family.

Instead of letting my feelings of helplessness consume me, HA gave me so many opportunities to take action. I began attending national conferences and WALKS … connecting with people with similar experiences … meeting medical professionals with an interest in hydrocephalus … and holding fundraisers and 5K events to fund medical research in an effort to push for change.

Eventually, I joined the board and most recently had the honor of being elected chairwoman. My connection to the members and staff of HA has ignited and sustained my passion to find a better way forward — for my daughter Emily and everyone with hydrocephalus.

If you or someone you love has hydrocephalus, there’s a good chance you, too, are riding the roller coaster of living with the condition. Perhaps like me, you’ve turned to HA to learn more about this often unheard-of diagnosis. You may have turned to HA again to find and connect with others for support and advocacy. Now, with the association’s commitment to promoting research, HA is here to provide a comprehensive roadmap which will lead to a better future for hydrocephalus patients everywhere.

If you feel that the Hydrocephalus Association is the best way forward to meet the needs of our community, please show your commitment by sending a generous gift this holiday season.

On behalf of the board of directors, I wish you and your family the very best for the holidays and a healthy new year.

Sincerely,

Barrett O’Connor

Read Barrett’s recent blog in our 30th anniversary history series.

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