Written by David Saldana
It’s that time of year again; the second annual Hydrocephalus Charity WOD at CrossFit Milford is just around the corner! I wanted to take the time to personally thank you all for your support and explain to you why I host this awesome charity event and why it is so important to me. As you may or may not know, I am one of the few people born with Hydrocephalus, a rare medical condition that effects fewer than 200,000 people a year. It is a condition where spinal fluid does not naturally pass through the body on its own and thus, fills up around the brain. Sadly, there is no cure for Hydrocephalus and the only treatment is something called a shunt, which is inserted through the skull and pumps fluid to the stomach. This procedure is extremely dangerous in small children and seniors and the risk of relapse in the first year is higher than 50 percent. I had my first surgery when I was only 8 months old. At that time, it was a very under underdeveloped procedure. In the following year I had 2 more surgeries. When I was 3 years old I had a severe shunt infection that almost killed me. The down side to shunts is they are very easily infected because the tubing goes from your skull to your stomach to pump the spinal fluid through your body. While I was growing up and getting ready for school my doctors told me it would be impossible for me to participate in any sports or even live a normal life. As I got into my teenage years they pushed me away from physical education class and if I did participate, I was required to wear a helmet, which was extremely embarrassing, especially as a teenager. Fast forward a couple of years to when I was 21 and dating a girl who really pushed me into getting into shape. This I was my motivation to start doing CrossFit. After trying one of coach Jay’s on ramp classes, I was hooked. Now, I am competing in local competitions. It is truly a miracle I have made it this far.
1 in every 1,000 babies are diagnosed with hydrocephalus every year. So many people are sick from this disease and can not do half of what I do. These people, especially the babies, are the reason I started this charity. In 2016, I partnered with pediatric hydrocephalus to help raise money for their two major goals, the main one being to find a cure for hydrocephalus by working with hospitals and donating money to research and development. The other goal, the main reason I chose this group to partner with, is to donate the money to families of children currently going through these dangerous surgeries. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for someone to have a minimum of 20 surgeries in the course of their childhood. So as my first step toward reaching this goal, I will be shaving my hair off live on the CrossFit Milford Facebook page on September 1 in honor of all the kids having surgery! The WOD and raffle event will be held on September 23; I look forward to seeing you all there!
For more information on the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, please visit their website.