Inside Gillette Blog

Calling All Walkers!  Minnesota’s First Hydrocephalus Walk is Sept. 26

Posted On: 09/15/2010

Here at Gillette we treat kids with disabilities, many of them complex.  One of those conditions is hydrocephalus — a word that means, literally, water on the brain.  When too much fluid builds up in the brain, it can cause serious symptoms like headaches and nausea, difficulties with balance and coordination, even personality changes.

The good news? Hydrocephalus can be managed by something called a shunt — a device that helps drain excess fluid away from the brain. Our neurosurgeons perform about 300 shunt operations each year for the more than 1,500 kids who come to Gillette for treatment of hydrocephalus.

The bad news? There’s currently no cure for hydrocephalus. 

That’s why, on Sunday, Sept. 26, one of our very own patient families is planning the state’s first Hydrocephalus Walk.  Six-year-old Jack Borchardt has been coming to Gillette ever since his mom, Tara (and the walk’s organizer!) noticed he was missing milestones.  Jack’s friends could run, jump, ride bikes and trikes — but Jack couldn’t.  He couldn’t even climb the stairs without holding onto the railing. His diagnosis: hydrocephalus.

After receiving a shunt at Gillette, Jack is thriving. He’s improving his balance and enjoying life - including fishing with Dad!

If you’d like to join Jack and Tara to help find a cure for hydrocephalus, sign up for the Minneapolis Hydrocephalus Walk!  You’ll enjoy a day of family fun, including food, games, face-painting and music. The Minneapolis walk is one of more than 20 throughout the country, all raising funds for the Hydrocephalus Association, a national group dedicated to finding a cure, and growing awareness, for the condition.

To learn more about hydrocephalus, click here.