As part of Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, Danielle wanted to share her story:
My name is Danielle Livingston. You may not know my story, but I was born with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is an abnormal buildup of fluid deep within the brain which puts pressure on the brain’s tissues. There is no cure for hydrocephalus, the only treatment is brain surgery where the doctors place a tube (shunt) that connects my skull to my abdomen. I’ve had four surgeries for shunts- at 3 days old, 18 years old, 26 years old, and 27 years old. My latest shunt was placed July 12, 2022, because the last valve clogged.
Approximately 125,000 people live with hydrocephalus every day. I’ve learned you can still live a normal life even with hydrocephalus. I attend Living Resources Day Community Opportunities Program and I’m a I’m a huge traveler! My favorite places are Maine and visiting my friends in Galway, NY. I love going to Massachusetts and have traveled to Vermont and Lake George. I also have a boyfriend named Andrew who I met in high school.
Danielle attends our Day Community Opportunities Program, “without walls” program offered throughout the Capital/Saratoga Region, as well as Taconic and Hudson Valley, for adults 18 years and older. Individuals in the program participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the communities in which they live. These experiences include cultural and artistic pursuits, volunteer opportunities, recreational activities, and skill-building classes. Skill-building classes include, but are not limited to: art, computer instruction, cooking, money management, reading, travel training, and a variety of social skill-building classes.
DCOP participants develop essential and practical life skills that promote independence through volunteerism, education, and enrichment activities. Our DCOP team has created an environment that supports and fosters community inclusion, self-sufficiency, and self-advocacy for its participants.
Learn more about the program here: https://www.livingresources.org/day-community-opportunities-program-dcop/