“Emily’s Walk” held to benefit Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario


By Ron Giofu

A local girl with spina bifida and hydrocephalus led a walk Sunday evening to aid the fight against the condition that she is afflicted with.

Emily Beauchamp, 9, and her family led “Emily’s Walk” through King’s Navy Yard Park with the proceeds benefitting the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (SB & H) Association of Ontario.

“Emily is very excited this year,” said her mother Janice. “She loves seeing her family and friends come out and support her.”

Emilys Walk

June is Spina Bifida Awareness month and also the month Emily was born with the condition. It was frightening for Janice and husband Kelly to find out what their daughter had.

“It was very scary for us,” said Janice. “We had no idea what that was. We were very grateful to have had somewhere to turn to in time of crisis and uncertainty. The SB & H Association has been a constant resource and foundation of support. It is important to give back.”

Janice said the walk is growing every year with over 30 participants taking part this year. The walk usually raises about $300 but she expected to surpass that this year.

“Emily is a happy, loving child but will face many challenges in her lifetime,” said Janice. “It gives us hope to know that SB & H will be there every step of the way.”

Janice added their family wants to ensure that treatment options are available for those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus to enhance their quality of life. She hopes that, through perseverance and public education, they can reduce the impact of these neurological conditions. SB & H receives no government funding, she added. Emily said she was happy to be walking with her family and friends. She said that “it’s the thought that counts” and was happy to receive as much support as she did.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs within the first four weeks of pregnancy. The spinal column fails to develop properly, resulting in permanent damage to the baby’s spinal cord and nervous system. Hydrocephalus is a condition that results in excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain. Without treatment, permanent brain damage or even death could occur. There is no known cure for either of these conditions.

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