The Fight Against Hydrocephalus
Updated: May 28, 2022
This post is in dedication and in loving memory to Zen Cannon, son to television star Nick Cannon, and model Alyssa Scott.
For those unaware of this story, Zen Cannon passed away at the beginning of December 2021 due to what most are reporting as a brain tumor.
“Over the weekend I lost my youngest son to a condition called hydrocephalus that was pretty malignant, invasive midline brain tumor, brain cancer,” Cannon said. “It’s tough.”
However, those reporting more closely, and have seen pictures of baby Zen identify it as more than just a brain tumor, but what is actually also
called hydrocephalus. Why is this important to me? Well because I was born with hydrocephalus. Though I have a mild case of the condition. And because my condition was mild as my family, and I discovered, it wasn’t identified until I was sixteen! As reported on hydrocephalus.org, one out of 770 babies will develop hydrocephalus, but there are about 700,000 adults who will have the condition and be misdiagnosed with other conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, or Dementia.
When I first heard this story earlier this month, it didn’t go over my head, as it very well could have had I not known the severity of the condition. I know that because I was born with a mild case, that my life was able to continue on, but I don’t take for granted now in my life that I could very well not be here because of hydrocephalus too! Do you know that hydrocephalus is a life threatening condition that impacts over one million Americans. There are only treatments to help people alleviate the ailments of hydrocephalus, but there is still no cure for the condition. Once diagnosed, neurosurgeons, and doctors will schedule routine magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI’s for short. By monitoring it by ordering an MRI for patients either every sixth months, every year, or as frequently as a doctor sees fit, they are able to diagnose any changes in pressure build up in a person’s head.
When I was first diagnosed with hydrocephalus, I was getting them done on the every sixth month schedule, but soon the doctors noticed there was really no changes in my case, so now I get them done every year. I thank God for having no changes, and that for the most part, all things considered I am able to lead a “normal” life. But I pray, and sympathize with those who aren’t able to live their lives out, like baby Zen. We, with hydrocephalus are just as intelligent, unique, and are a benefit to society as those who don’t have hydrocephalus. We just have to go through our accommodations that people who don’t have it, don’t ever have to take for granted. From: driving with hydrocephalus, or not being able to drive at all in our lives, watching our balance when doing certain activities because we can stumble unexpectedly at any moment that will have those around us question “what just happened with you to make you fall like that?”, to a list of other countless ways us hydro warriors deal with on a daily basis.
It isn’t an ideal life all the time, observing those without hydrocephalus do even the most minute things that us with hydrocephalus can’t perform. It is something we have to accept, but as I said earlier in this post, if one is able to make it through, and live out a full life, we still can be successful in jobs, care for our families, play sports, graduate from college etc. It is all about finding the right fit that works for us. Having the right support system from friends and family understanding the situations that hydrocephalus puts us in is very critical, and important! I thank God for having a family that now understands, and knows ways to help me lead my life from my early stages to now. I now will forever feel connected to Zen, and Nick Cannon’s family because I sympathize! You are in my thoughts, and prayers Mr. Cannon, and Ms. Scott. God bless you, and your family. Hopefully, and prayerfully like myself, we can go on a journey in life to find a cure for hydrocephalus! We can do it, and find a cure together!
“I prayed for the miracle of God’s strength….” Cannon said.
It is all we can do as a people to continue the fight against hydrocephalus!
In Loving memory of Zen Cannon, may God rest your soul, and bless your family!
References and information taken from Hydrocephalus.org