By Elijah Lawrence
I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus before I was born. When I was four days old, I had my first shunt put in. Since then, I have had four revisions, but I have had my current shunt for five years. I am treated at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. I have been very lucky because I have encountered very few barriers despite having hydrocephalus. I love to sing, act, and dance. I also love to write and play with my friends and dogs. Most of these activities are not limited by my hydrocephalus. One of the most memorable moments of my childhood was singing “Wonderful World” at the Hydrocephalus Convention in Baltimore, MD in 2006. Since then, I have had the honor of singing the National Anthem to open the U.S. Tennis Open in New York, and at the 56th Presidential Inaugural Concert. I also just sang the National Anthem at the 1st Hydrocephalus Walk in Washington D.C.
To other people living with hydrocephalus, my advice would be to not let it limit your imagination of what you can do and be. My parents have also told me that everybody is dealing with something and we are just dealing with hydrocephalus. It is important to let people know the details about hydrocephalus in order to raise awareness, prevent further cases, and maybe find a cure. But, at the same time, it is important not to let it define all of who you are.