Alumni Samantha Bell (Class of ’04) and her fiancé Tom Pennell (Class of ’99) have taken up an important cause, finding a cure for hydrocephalus. Because of Sam’s experience with not-for-profits and event organizing, she joined Pennell, who works in the biomedical engineering field, to participate in the organization entitled “REaCH”(Research, Educate and Cure Hydrocephalus).
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which accumulation of fluid occurs in the brain and must be drained off in some way to relieve the resulting pressure on the brain. Shunts are the current treatment for hydrocephalus. They are inserted to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid out of the body or into other areas of the body to relieve that pressure. This technology has many flaws however and almost half the funding for shunts is spent on replacing or repairing them. Because of Tom’s work in the field, he and a neurosurgeon from SUNY Upstate Medical center helped to start an organization that would raise money to fund research to find a cure. They are joined by others from Central New York that have been impacted by the condition. Samantha shared, “Our goal is to remove the need for shunts completely by curing hydrocephalus. Also, we collect the most recent research and offer advice and connections to patients and families dealing with the condition as there are no other regional groups filling that need. Most families that have a child with hydrocephalus are sent home with no information and millions of questions.”
If you are interested in helping out with this worthy cause, the REaCH Organization will be holding a 5K race beginning at the Tully High School parking lot. We will also be holding a children’s ¼ mile fun run held on the track adjacent to the school. The children’s run will begin at 9:30 am with the 5K to follow at 10am. Registration can be completed online at www.getentered.com or day of registration will take place at 9am. Registration prices for children are $5 and prices for the 5k will be $20 early registration and $25 the day of the event.
Refreshments will be available and the Tully Council of the Arts will be providing entertainment. T-shirts will be available to the first 100 5K participants. Cash prizes of $100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd place and $25 for 3rd place will be given to the top three men and women.
Help Samantha and Tom find a cure. If you wish to know more about this event or the REaCH organization, check them out on Facebook or their website: www.REaCHOrg.org