Ga Woman Overcomes Brain Condition, Trains for Race

A Georgia woman has overcome a brain condition, and is now training for her first Peachtree Road race, which takes place in four days!

Lola, a 27-year-old college graduate and systems architect, is training to do her first race after overcoming a diseased called Hydrocephalus. The term is derived from the Greek words “hydro,” which means water, and “cephalus,” which means head.

Although hydrocephalus was once known as “water on the brain,” the “water” is actually cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) — a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The excessive accumulation of CSF results in an abnormal widening of spaces in the brain called ventricles. This widening creates potentially harmful pressure on the tissues of the brain.

CSF has three important life-sustaining functions: 1) to keep the brain tissue buoyant, acting as a cushion or “shock absorber”; 2) to act as the vehicle for delivering nutrients to the brain and removing waste; and 3) to flow between the cranium and spine and compensate for changes in intracranial blood volume (the amount of blood within the brain).

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The balance between production and absorption of CSF is critically important. Because CSF is made continuously, medical conditions that block its normal flow or absorption will result in an over-accumulation of CSF. The resulting pressure of the fluid against brain tissue is what causes hydrocephalus.

Lola has had several surgeries to fix the issue. She explained, “They went in and placed a device that helps regulate everything for me.”

After being encouraged to enter the lottery for the Preachtree race, she was selected to participate! Lola said, “When I realized I was selected, everyone in my family said, ‘Go for it!'” she continued, “I know that I can walk and I would be happy just walking the race.”

I think we can all learn a lesson here: No matter where we are in life, to keep moving forward. Even if we are only walking, we are still alive and moving forward and we should take pride in that.

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