Olympic Gymnast Raises Hydrocephalus Awareness

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez Visits Local Pelham Gymnastics Center at event benefiting Legacy Gymnastics and the Hydrocephalus Association

Olympic Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez will be bringing her love of gymnastics to Legacy Gymnastics in Pelham, Alabama, on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Laurie will hold a private skills clinic as part of a fundraiser to build a new facility as well as raise funds for the Hydrocephalus Association. Hydrocephalus is a life-threatening neurological condition that impacts over 1 million Americans of all ages. This is Legacy Gymnastics’ second year supporting the mission of the Hydrocephalus Association and one of their coaches, Bethany Buchanan, whose three year old daughter, Layla, was born with hydrocephalus and has had three brain surgeries to manage the condition.

“We’re very excited for the opportunity to have Laurie come down and work with the kids but also for her to learn more about hydrocephalus and help us raise awareness and money to find a cure. I’m so thankful to Brianna and Steven for choosing the Hydrocephalus Association as a partner beneficiary of the event. They are always so sweet with Layla, and my team of gymnasts are her biggest fans. It means a lot to my family,” shares Bethany. Layla was diagnosed with Occipital Encephalocele at 20 weeks in the womb which led to the development of hydrocephalus. Layla is currently treated with a shunt to drain excess fluid from her brain into her abdominal cavity.

The event will be held on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at Legacy Gymnastics in Pelham. Laurie will conduct a private skills clinic for Legacy gymnasts who participated in the fundraising event. Just 16 years old, Laurie exploded onto the gymnastics scene at the age of 12 where she competed internationally, winning medals in all-around, balance beam, uneven bars, vault, and floor exercise. She was one of only five gymnasts selected for the Rio Summer Olympic Games and helped the team win gold in the Team All Around as well as winning silver on the balance beam.

“I am looking forward to Laurie learning more about hydrocephalus and what it’s all about. Too few people know about it and about the fear families live with every day not knowing when the next brain surgery will happen,” stated Bethany. Laurie will have the chance to meet Layla, who is also a little gymnast at Legacy.

Read more about Layla’s journey with hydrocephalus.

Read more about Legacy Gymnastics and Sunday’s event: https://legacygymnasticswithlaurie.org/2016-olympic-gold-medalist-laurie-hernandez-is-coming-to-legacy-gymnastics-on-march-26/

WALK to End Hydrocephalus in Birmingham on October 29, 2017: https://support.hydroassoc.org/2017CentralAlWalk

About Hydrocephalus

Hydrocephalus is a chronic, life-threatening condition that can only be treated surgically. The predominant treatment is the insertion of a small tube, called a shunt, into the brain to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid. Shunts save lives but frequently malfunction, become infected, or blocked. It is not uncommon for a person with hydrocephalus to have ten or more shunt-related brain surgeries during the course of their lifetime and some individuals have more than 100 surgical procedures. Each surgical procedure brings the risk of unknown long-term cognitive and health effects.

About the Hydrocephalus Association  

Founded in 1983 by the parents of children with hydrocephalus, the Hydrocephalus Association is the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated to hydrocephalus. More than 60 percent of HA’s funding comes from individual donations, and approximately 35 percent comes from foundation and corporate grants. The Hydrocephalus Association’s mission is to promote a cure for hydrocephalus and improve the lives of those affected by the condition. For more information, visit the Hydrocephalus Association website at www.hydroassoc.org or call (888) 598-3789.