Cynthia and I have a confession to make: Whenever we hear about a new medical breakthrough for treating some complex health condition, we immediately think of us and wonder: When will it be our turn? Just the other day, I read an article about a young boy who was cured of HIV, a condition that was relatively unknown until the late 1980s and very difficult to treat. As long-time residents of San Francisco, we have witnessed the AIDS-awareness movement grow from a small group of radical young gay men to a global movement generating support from every gender, race, and creed. This is such a great example of how a few voices can ignite a public outcry and lead to great advancements in awareness and treatment.
There is power in our collective voice, and we are more hopeful than ever that with continued persistence there will be a medical breakthrough for our community. It will take the voice and support of every member to make this happen. Unfortunately, even though hydrocephalus affects nearly 1 million people in the United States alone, the resources devoted to its research are significantly less than that of conditions with similar health burdens, such as Parkinson’s disease.
That’s why we must all come together to promote innovative research and increase the pool of physicians and scientists working to better understand hydrocephalus. Cynthia and I strongly encourage you to send your annual membership donation today, if you have not renewed already, so we can continue to implement our detailed, focused, and aggressive Strategic Research Initiative, which is moving us closer to better medical outcomes, fewer infections, and ultimately a cure.
It has only been four years since we initiated our commitment to fund research in 2009, and we are already seeing promising results. For example, studies in the genetics of brain development may ultimately lead to a pharmacological treatment for hydrocephalus. And there’s already a new treatment protocol — which we funded through our partnership with the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network — that has helped reduce the number of postsurgical shunt infections by 35 percent.
We need you to join us in this ongoing effort.
Please help make the dream of life without hydrocephalus a reality by sending your 2013 membership contribution to the Hydrocephalus Association today.
It will truly require the involvement of every member to further our agenda and fulfill our mission. We are counting on you, and we hope you will send your membership contribution for 2013.
Emily Fudge and Cynthia Solomon