Posted by: cnycreativeconcepts
February 29, 2016
When looking at 6-year-old Vernon girl Elyse Clough, it’s hard not to notice the long hair and beautiful smile.
What you can’t see are the scars and stitch marks on her head, where a different story is being told.
Elyse suffers from an incurable brain condition called Hydrocephalus, and the scars and stitch marks are the result of six brain surgeries needed to implant a shunt in her brain.
The most recent procedure being a shunt replacement after Elyse suffered a serious seizure which revealed a shunt malfunction.
Occurring in approximately 1 of every 500 births, Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excessive fluid gathers in the brain, abnormally widening spaces in the brain and placing potentially harmful pressure on brain tissues. Because of lack of advancements in treatment, many affected individuals are left unable to lead full and productive lives, according to spokesperson Michael Illions, Vice President & National Director of Advocacy of the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation in Woodbridge, New Jersey.
Elyse was selected as one of two children to serve as this year’s “National Ambassador of Hydrocephalus Awareness,” for the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, to help raise the level of awareness and education about Hydrocephalus in the United States. Elyse will represent girls, while 11-year-old Tyler Side of Washington State will represent boys.
“We are extremely grateful that Elyse is the National Ambassador for Hydrocephalus Awareness for 2016. Any opportunity we have to spread awareness and education about this condition is invaluable to our family,” said Elyse’s father, Tom Clough.
Elyse’s struggles spurred her parents Tom and Kim Clough into action, and along with a group of patients and families struggling with hydrocephalus, they realized the need for a cure and a support group for Hydrocephalus, writes Illions.
Elyse will be featured in advertisement campaigns and promotional materials for Hydrocephalus Awareness as we head towards the 8th Annual “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month” in September. Elyse and her family, along with 25 others, will travel to Washington, DC for “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Day on Capitol Hill” on Friday, Aug. 19.