Local performer sings to raise awareness for her son living with a chronic brain condition that has no cure.
Stephanie Oltean, a vocalist from central Kansas, will perform a Holiday concert for the 3rd Annual Reason for Hope Benefit on Sunday, December 3, at 2:30pm at the Lucas Area Community Theater in Lucas, Kansas. The event will raise funds to support critical research initiatives and current education and outreach programs of the Hydrocephalus Association, the nation’s largest patient-advocacy organization dedicated to serving the estimated 1 million Americans living with hydrocephalus.
“My son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus when he was 6 months old and I had never heard of the condition. It was a very scary ordeal,” shared Oltean. “I’ve always enjoyed singing and I thought, ‘Why not share my gift and help raise money for such a wonderful cause?’”
Hydrocephalus is caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. There is no cure and the only treatment requires brain surgery. Repeated brain surgeries are often needed due to high failure rates of the predominant treatment—the insertion of a medical device called a shunt into the brain. A child can be born with hydrocephalus, as was the case with Stephanie’s son, Jacob. However, anyone at any time can develop hydrocephalus from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), an infection, or as a part of the aging process, where it is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
“I started reading about the Hydrocephalus Association and what they do and I thought that working with them would be a way that I could help others,” shared Oltean. “The Hydrocephalus Association is the largest non-governmental funder of hydrocephalus research, having committed over $6 million dollars to support studies into preventions and alternative treatment options for people, like my son, living with this condition. I want hydrocephalus to be eliminated. I do not want my son to have to use a shunt forever and I was motivated to do this for him and for all of the other people facing challenges with hydrocephalus.”
Stephanie, along with her friend, Lyn Leach, organized the first concert in 2013 and raised a little over $4,000. It is now becoming a holiday tradition in Lucas.
“I have known Stephanie and her family for many years, not only personally but also in the work force. Stephanie is so spirited with a beautiful voice and what better way to spread love for others surrounded by a festive atmosphere during the Christmas Season,” says Lyn Leach, Benefit Organizer. “As a board member of the Lucas Area Community Theater, we are truly excited to have Stephanie perform each year for such a worthy cause.”
Families are invited to come and listen to the sounds of the season at The Hydrocephalus Association’s A Reason for Hope Holiday Benefit Concert held on Sunday, December 3, at 2:30pm at the Lucas Area Community Theater in Lucas, KS. Doors will open at 2:00pm and the theater will have concessions available for purchase. Bennington State Bank of Lucas will be sponsoring the event.
To learn more about Stephanie and her son Jacob’s journey with hydrocephalus or to donate to the benefit concert, please visit https://support.hydroassoc.org/goto/ReasonforHope.
About the Hydrocephalus Association
Founded in 1983 by parents of children with hydrocephalus, the Hydrocephalus Association has grown to be the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated to hydrocephalus. The Hydrocephalus Association began funding research in 2009. Since then, HA has committed well over $6 million to research, making it the largest nonprofit, non-governmental funder of hydrocephalus research in the U.S. For more information, visit the Hydrocephalus Association website at www.hydroassoc.org or call (888) 598-3789.