September was buzzing with activity during Hydrocephalus Awareness Month (HAM). Individuals from across the country, and even the world, joined HA in raising awareness and educating the public about hydrocephalus.
Thanks to the work of our dedicated HA volunteers, this year seven new states joined the United States Congress in proclaiming September as Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. We are grateful to the Governors of Connecticut, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois and Colorado for working with our local community leaders to bring critical attention to this challenging neurological condition. A thank you goes out to Jenifer Jeans, Mary Wren, Mia Padron, Jackie Davidson, Annie Mason, Chara McLaughen, Jessica Caulder, Sherry Reising, and Shannon O’Connor. These states joined Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington which already held proclamations for HAM. In addition, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke proclaimed September 9th as Hydrocephalus Awareness Day in their respective cities and the City Government of Grand Island, New York, proclaimed September 19th as Hydrocephalus Awareness Day.
“We are truly so humbled and impressed by how many states have taken the time to research what hydrocephalus is, then come together and stand by our community and recognize that hydrocephalus is an extremely serious condition that affects millions of individuals every day. It truly means the world to us to have so many states come together and support us as we continue to fight for a cure for those we love the most,” affirmed Middlebury, Connecticut Hydrocephalus Association WALK event Co-Chairs Mary Wrenn and Jenifer Alex Jeans, who is also an identical twin to Alexandrea, 37, who acquired hydrocephalus 6 weeks after birth.
There were also a number of landmarks around the country illuminated a stunning hydrocephalus blue to commemorate HAM. The City of Wichita, Kansas, lit the pillars on their downtown area for the entire month. Thank you to Rachel Inskeep, our Wichita WALK Chair for working with the city government. In St. Louis, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and Science Center shone like a blue beacon in the evenings, thanks to our St. Louis WALK Chairs Maggie O’Shaughnessy and Stephanie Vogt. In Chattanooga, Chara McLaughen facilitated the Liberty Building turning blue. And, most notably, Niagara Falls and the Peace Bridge, the largest major crossing into Canada in the North East, were illuminated blue. Thank you to Larry McKenzie, Kelly McKenzie, and Stacey Monaco.
For those not able to travel to see these amazing sites, we hope you were able to participate in our Turn the Country Hydrocephalus Blue challenge online. HA challenged everyone across the country to help spread awareness about hydrocephalus and educate the public on key facts about the condition by printing out informational signs, taking photos, and posting them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We had over 2000 people participate in the challenge. Our posts were seen over 400,000 times and received close to 38,000 likes. The state with the most posts was Tennessee, followed closely by Minnesota, North Carolina, Arizona, and West Virginia. On behalf of the staff, seeing the amazing individuals that make up our community and their loved ones and friends that support all of us – we want to thank everyone for turning this country Hydrocephalus BLUE. What an amazing HAM 2015!