|| My name is Sheri Burdine. I am the founder of Hydro Angels over America, formally known as Hydro Angels over Texas.
My journey thus far living with hydrocephalus has not been as bad as some people, yet a little tougher than others. I've had to endure eight brain surgeries to date, due to shunt malfunctions. I started my journey with a VP shunt (brain to tummy) and now have a VA shunt, (brain to heart) my shunt is now programmable making it easier to adjust the pressure externally without invasive brain surgery.(Research is GOOD!) Sadly, I developed two major infections after a shunt revision leading to a blood transfusion,which also caused some memory issues. I've suffered from seizures due to scar tissue on my brain, past infections, and hydrocephalus pressure. I deal with severe headaches, gait (balance) issues, and daily fatigue. I never know when my shunt will malfunction and I will be rushed back to the hospital. I'm not special, everyone living with hydrocephalus faces the same uncertain day to day challenges. The trick is, you simply go on with life and "not" wait for it to happen!
In 2007 I discovered I was not alone. In fact I found out I was just “one” of a million people in America with a condition called hydrocephalus. After learning “I was not alone", I was inspired to get involved. I became the first Hydrocephalus WALK Event Chairperson for the Austin/San Antonio Texas area, held October 2007. The first WALK was very successful just by the fact we raised awareness where there had not been any. (147) people attended from across the state. It was a life-changing event for everyone who attended. My WALK Team was, and is still called Hydro Angels, so it seemed natrual the name of the organization should be Hydro Angels. I have gone on to host many more successful WALKS all held in October, in honor of Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in Texas, reaching participant growth of over 500. In 2011 we created a theme for our WALK - "giving hydrocephalus the boot" - and yes, we all wear boots of many colors & styles as we go Boot Scoot'n for Hydrocephalus! In 2012 things changed, we went national. We held our 1st out of State WALK in ST. Paul MN. We will continue to give hydrocephalus the boot, one step at time across America from this day forward.However, through growth we now offer a traditional Walk, Run, Roll for Hydrocephalus. In September 2012 we started the 1st National Bowling for a Healthy Brain™ to STRIKE OUT Hydrocephalus awareness fundraiser. We hosted 14 events in 14 States across America to STRIKE OUT Hydrocephalus. Each September we will continue this tradition in honor of National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. We are just getting going! Finding out I was not alone gave me my wings, and I am soaring across America!
With all the excitement and awareness you might find it hard to believe until that fateful day in October 2007, I spent the first twenty-eight years of my life feeling alone. To my knowledge, I had never met another person with hydrocephalus, furthermore other than my doctors nobody I came in contact with had ever heard of this strange condition I was living with. Like me, many people go through life after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus feeling alone. When a parent is told your child has hydrocephalus they are overwhelmed with questions and fear, not knowing where to turn for help or support. When an adult is diagnosed the same feelings come to play. In many cases with a diagnosis of hydrocephalus it’s very scary to know you or your loved one is going to have to have brain surgery, in most cases multiple brain surgeries. The questions are many; the answers can be few and far between. Hydro Angels Over America wants to help answer those questions, calm your fears, and make sure you never feel alone on your journey with hydrocephalus.
I am excited to say I am the Author of (3) books: The Journey of Hydro Bear (Part 1) - (Part 2) - (Part 3) these books, along with Hydro Bear are available on the Hydro Store, as well as the Dell Childrens Hospital in Austin, Texas. I also created the 2014 Beautiful Faces of Hydrocephalus Calendar. We will make this a tradition! I am blesse to have met hundreds of Hydro Warriors, young and old, as well as their amazing families. We are all on this journey together. Shunts quit...Sheri doesn't!
As a result of getting involved in the hydrocephalus mission, I have been bit by the media bug!
2007 featured in the Women Of New Braunfels Magazine.
2007 - 2009 invited to talk on 92.1 Radio New Braunfels to speak about hydrocephalus awareness
2008 KSAT12 evening news show, "Health Beat" along with my Doctor, Christopher Bogaev for a segment about hydrocephalus and programmable shunts
2009 KENS 5 - #1 TV morning show in San Antonio - A Great Day SA!
2010 press conference : KSAT12, FOX29, KENS5, ABC NEWS, - Hydrocephalus Awareness (Baby Klaus)
2010 Morgan's Wonderland Walk of Fame Honoree
2011 KABB FOX 29 'Focus on South Texas'
Honored to recieve the 2012 Jefferson Award -News 4 WOAI
I am always looking for media opportunities to get the word out about hydrocephalus. [email protected]