By Stephanie Oltean
Hydrocephalus affected my family four years ago. I had never heard of the condition when my son was diagnosed with it at the age of six months. It was a very scary ordeal and the feeling of helplessness that came over me while he was in the hospital is a feeling that I will never forget. With time, I came to accept my son’s diagnosis and it has just been a learning process as we live each day. Jacob is your typical 4 year-old and, thankfully, he is doing absolutely wonderfully. We make sure to go to all of his yearly appointments with his neurosurgeon. But a few months ago I felt like I needed to do more. I decided I wanted to help others who are dealing with this condition.
I started reading about the Hydrocephalus Association and what they do and I thought that working with them would be a way that I could help others and maybe, one day, my son. I felt like The Reason for Hope campaign would be a good way to get started and that’s when I got the idea to do a benefit concert. I’ve always enjoyed singing and I thought, “Why not share my gift and help raise money for such a wonderful cause?” With my co-worker and friend, Lyn Leach, we organized a concert with a holiday theme to benefit The Reason for Hope campaign and the work of the association. In my small community of Lucas, Kansas, about 450 people, I sang to a little over 100 people and raised a little over $4,000.00. I’m very happy with that. I know that it is small in comparison to others, but it has been a very rewarding experience and I’m so happy we are able to help the Hydrocephalus Association.
I want hydrocephalus to be eliminated. I do not want my son to have to use a shunt forever and I was motivated to do this for him and for all of the other people facing challenges with hydrocephalus. It has been an absolute delight working with the Hydrocephalus Association and I’m really looking forward to other events and ways that I can help in the future.
The Hydrocephalus Association extends heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for Stephanie and Lyn’s work to put on a very successful holiday concert in her community. No endeavor is ever too small, as we work together to find better treatment options and, ultimately, a cure for hydrocephalus as well as to support the 1 million fellow community members living with the condition. Stephanie shone on stage as she sung from her heart. Enjoy the photos below. THANK YOU, Stephanie and Lyn!
If you are interested in volunteering for the Hydrocephalus Association, there are many ways you can get involved. Start by emailing email@example.com to speak with Karima, Jenn, or Randi.