Today is the 5th World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day! The aim of today is to raise awareness, and understanding of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus everywhere. Spina bifida is a neural tube birth defect that affects 1,500-2,000 babies in the United States each year. Currently, there are 166,000 individuals who live with Spina Bifida. Spina bifida occurs within the first 28 days of pregnancy. The infant’s spinal column fails to develop properly, which results in varying forms of permanent damage to the spinal cord and nervous system. Individuals who grow up and live with spina bifida may encounter obstacles such as poor ability to walk, problems with bladder, or bowel control, #hydrocephalus, a tethered spinal cord, and latex allergy.
Hydrocephalus is a condition when an excessive amount of cerebrospinal fluids builds up in the brain cavities. It is a common condition among individuals with spina bifida and is treated with a shunt in order to relocate the fluid to another part of the body because there is a great possibility of brain damage.
NTI is humbled to say that Ryan Martin, a member of the spina bifida community and founder of the Ryan Martin Foundation will be speaking at the #31Nights event on December 3, AKA International Disability Day, and the day NTI will be showcased at the Prudential Center in Boston!
NTI can’t wait to hear everything Ryan has to say. Ryan’s experiences in life inspire people everyday. As a young child with spina bifida, Ryan also had his legs amputated by two years old. Yet, when he discovered basketball at the age of twelve he fell in love and didn’t let anything or anyone stop him from envisioning the future he saw for himself playing the sport. Now Ryan is a professional wheelchair basketball player, and the founder of his own foundation, which carries the mission to inspire and empower individuals with disabilities through sports and education. Ryan understands the challenges people face, he knows that it can be exhausting, yet he also knows how wonderful it feels when you achieve your dreams.