HELP US SHINE A LIGHT ON HYDROCEPHALUS
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about the lights of Hummingbird. The canopy of lights, strung from house to house, is an act of holiday joy and cheer from the residents of the street, who joined together their time and talents to create a little extra holiday magic for all to enjoy.
One of the shining lights of Hummingbird is 7-year-old Gemma, who has been affectionately named “Mayor” of the street. There’s nothing this girl loves more than visiting “her people” during walks up and down the street. And “her people” have in turn helped our family raise critical funds and awareness for a cause over the past five years that is near and dear to our hearts — the Hydrocephalus Association.
At such a young age, Gemma has endured nine brain surgeries due to a condition called hydrocephalus. Born at 28-weeks, Gemma was born very tiny and sick, and as a result suffered a brain bleed. This brain injury ultimately led to the condition known as hydrocephalus, for which there is NO cure and something she will have to deal with her entire life. It is a constant source of worry for our family --- all because of hydrocephalus and the faulty nature of the devices that manage this condition.
Hydrocephalus (or "water on the brain") is a life altering, life threatening condition, caused by an abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid, resulting in pressure on the brain. The most common treatment for this condition is brain surgery to implant a medical device called a shunt, which has a 50% failure rate in children within the first two years. Gemma is living evidence of this statistic, as she has experienced numerous malfunctions in seven years. In total, she has undergone NINE brain surgeries because of her hydrocephalus. That's more brain surgeries than birthdays!!
A shunt is not a cure as its consistent failures lead to multiple brain surgeries over a patient’s lifetime, in some cases 100 or more. This is unacceptable and this is why we have raised more than $40,000 as a family to help support the Hydrocephalus Association.
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, if you have the means to support Gemma and those with hydrocephalus by simply making a donation of any amount, we would be so grateful. Your donation is truly appreciated and will go far in helping us find a cure and improve the lives of people living with hydrocephalus.
The Moorhead Family