The Female Face of Hydrocephalus

ANA Patient Hailie Mussinan Selected as 2014 National “Face” of Hydrocephalus Awareness

When you look at 4-year-old Hailie Mussinan, you see an incredibly happy child. She is a perfect example of the pediatric hydroceopalus patients we treat at ANA. In Hallie’s case, a shunt inserted by Dr. Arno Fried lets her live with a potentially life-threatening condition. Shunting, which began in the 1950′s, entails the placement of a tube (the shunt) in one of the brain’s ventricles or into the space of fluid in the spine in order for the spinal fluid to be safely absorbed.

For good reason, Hailie was selected as one of two children to serve as this year’s “National Face of Hydrocephalus Awareness” for the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation (PHF) to help raise the level of awareness and education about hydrocephalus in the United States. Hailie, whose family lives in Woodbridge, will represent the girls, while 4-year-old Owen Rush of South Carolina will represent the boys. Hailie will be featured in advertisement campaigns and promotional materials for Hydrocephalus Awareness as we head towards the 6th Annual “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month” in September. Those passionate about the cause have also created PHF Hydrocephalus Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, which took place in August.

The Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c) (3) charitable organization, educates the community by creating awareness about hydrocephalus. PHF, with 34 state chapters, provides support to families, friends and children affected by this incurable brain condition.

PHF assists the medical community by raising funds to search for treatment options, and ultimately, a cure. PHF advocates on behalf of members while working with policy makers at State and Federal levels to push for more research and support in the fight against hydrocephalus.
Hydrocephalus is the most common congenital defect of the brain and spine with 1 in 500 infants born with this condition. Although it can occur in adults, hydrocephalus is more common in children, especially infants, and can potentially cause damage to the brain.
 

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