Local Portland Musician Raises Awareness for Rare Brain Condition

Annie Bany performed at the Hydrocephalus Association Portland charity WALK to raise awareness and funds for hydrocephalus, an incurable brain condition affecting one million Americans.

Bethesda, MD | June 28, 2013

Annie Bany, a local singer-songwriter best known for her alternative pop-country style, performed songs from her newly released album, Barefoot and Young, at the Hydrocephalus Association’s 4th annual WALK, on Saturday, June 15 at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, OR. More than 500 walkers representing local families, schools, corporations, and organizations came out for the event. To date, this year’s event has raised more than $33,000 to support the Hydrocephalus Association’s mission to eliminate the challenges of hydrocephalus by funding critical research and program services.

“There is no cure for hydrocephalus and the current treatment option requires brain surgery, often many surgeries over the course of a person’s lifetime,” stated Mike Schwab, a member of the Hydrocephalus Association Board of Directors and the father of 11-year old Joseph, who has hydrocephalus. “As Annie sang her song, Barefoot and Young, the lyrics ‘little ray of sunshine…’ struck a chord with me in terms of the hope and comfort this event provides to all those kids, adults, and families impacted by hydrocephalus.”

Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. About two in every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus. It can also develop as the result of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or as a part of the aging process in the senior population where it is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

“Anyone can develop hydrocephalus at any time. It’s more prevalent than most people think. It’s time to find a cure,” stated WALK co-founder Tara Miller whose son, Grant, was born with hydrocephalus. She and her husband, Jerrod, began the WALK four years ago to raise awareness of the condition. They were pleased to have Annie join the festivities this year and perform as the walkers were returning from the two-mile walk.

Moved by the event, Annie graciously donated 100% of the proceeds from the sale of her CDs that day to assist the cause. She also accompanied on guitar young 11-year old Chase Swearingen, who has hydrocephalus, as he spontaneously sang to the crowd at the end of her performance.

“It was a moving day for me. I had not heard of hydrocephalus before performing at the WALK. I didn’t realize how it impacts the kids and adults living with this condition, who work hard to live normal lives, but may all of the sudden need emergency brain surgery,” stated Bany. “I’m so glad I had a chance to meet everyone, learn about hydrocephalus, and raise money for such an important cause.”

About the Hydrocephalus Association

The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the challenges of hydrocephalus by stimulating research and supporting people who are affected by this condition. Incorporated in 1986, HA is now the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated solely to serving those affected by hydrocephalus. HA has been instrumental in creating a community of individuals, families and health care professionals addressing the complexities of hydrocephalus in all age groups. In 2009, HA launched its Research Initiative and has funded $2 million in research to enhance the understanding of this complex condition as well as to find better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure.

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