“Hello my name is Brooklynn Groce. I live with my La La & Dee Dah (Tammy & Tim Lewis) in Ringgold and I am 6 years old.
“I have hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the cavities deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain. The pressure of too much fluid associated with hydrocephalus can damage brain tissue and cause a range of impairments in the brain function. The only treatment available is a shunt (tube) inserted surgically into the ventricle to drain the excess fluid.
“At this point I have had five brain surgeries to replace or repair my shunts and also a cranial reconstructive surgery.
“I started physical therapy at around two years old and learned to walk at about 2-1/2 years old.
“I started speech therapy around 3 years old and occupational therapy at 4 years old. I am currently still in speech and occupational therapy. At the age of 3 I started having small seizures and to help deal with and minimize these as much as possible I am on three medications.
“So throughout each year each hydrocephalus family has fundraisers leading up to our walk in October. The donations collected go to fund research to help find a cure for hydrocephalus.
“Thank you so much for letting me tell my short story.”