I was born two months early and as a result of my premature birth I had a brain bleed causing hydrocephalus. As you may know, hydrocephalus is a life altering, life threatening condition, caused by an excess accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid, resulting in pressure on the brain. The most common treatment for this condition is the implication of a tube, or more aptly named a shunt, that drains the excess fluid to relieve the pressure. This is a temporary fix as the body attacks foreign objects and they eventually breakdown and need to be replaced. The only way to do that is with brain surgery which opens me up to further complications. I am blessed to only have some learning “differences” and a little bit of coordination problems. I have learned to laugh it off, but I am a bit clumsy, haha.
I grew up knowing I was a bit different, in the “normal” world I was a bit behind but in the hydrocephalus world I was high functioning. I recognized this at our monthly hydrocephalus family support meetings and picnics and knew I wanted to do something to bring recognition to this unknown condition that brings so many challenges for families. I love the outdoors, I found I am good at endurance activities, my hydrocephalus has made me a tough fighter, and I want to do this for those that cannot. I invite you to follow me on my facebook group Hike4Hydro with Willow Bolton, as I share my experience hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. My challenges will be keeping hydrated and keeping my headaches at bay. Occasionally, I will get monster migraines that will have me down and out and not keeping anything down. I think I have figured out how to manage them. I thank you for your support and hope you enjoy following my journey!