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Patient-Centered Guides
March 10, 1999

1 in 1,000 Babies Born Annually with
Life-threatening Disease

SEBASTOPOL, CA -- For every 1,000 babies born in the United States every year, there's one who is born with life-threatening hydrocephalus. For that one, simply getting through each day can be overwhelming. This condition can mean a lifetime of confusion, forgetfulness, loss of vision, headaches, nausea, chronic seizures or problems with motor skills. Hydrocephalus: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Friends by Chuck Toporek and Kellie Robinson is a rich resource for those living with, or caring for someone, with this condition.

The word hydrocephalus is derived from the Greek; hydro means water and cephalus means head. Often referred to as "water on the brain", it is generally treated with surgical placement of a shunt system that drains excess fluid around the brain. Although the majority of cases are congenital, hydrocephalus can also be caused by a brain tumor, trauma to the head or by infections such as meningitis later in life.

"Kellie and I wrote this book with the hope that it will help answer all the unanswered questions that families face and provide hope for those who live with hydrocephalus," describes author Chuck Toporek.

With a diagnosis of hydrocephalus, many people feel their lives have spun out of control. This book provides individuals and families with the guidance, information and support needed to make the right decisions at the right times. It also contains stories from patients -- "medical frequent fliers" -- who share, in their own words, the lessons and strategies they have learned in their medical journeys.

"I found [this book] to be most informative. Something like this is desperately needed for families," comments Dr. Marian Walker, Professor and Chairman of Pediatric Neurosurgery Division, University of Utah Primary Children's Medical Center.

This is the only book on hydrocephalus specifically for families who are experiencing information pain. Those who read this book will encounter medical facts clearly explained, advice to ease their daily life, and tools for patient advocacy.

About the Authors

Kellie Robinson, who was diagnosed with hydrocephalus as a child in 1971, is a freelance writer and has worked in broadcasting. Kellie also writes a column for adults with hydrocephalus for the Hydrocephalus Association's quarterly newsletter. Chuck Toporek has worked as an editor in medical and scientific publishing since 1988 and is currently the managing editor of Web Review magazine. Together, the authors combined their skills and personal experiences to research and write the first guide for patients with hydrocephalus. Chuck and Kellie are married and live in Santa Rosa, California with their cat Max.

Hydrocephalus: A Guide for Patients, Families & Friends
by Chuck Toporek & Kellie Robinson
$19.95, 362 pages, paperback
ISBN: 1-56592-410-X
PUBLICATION DATE: February 1999

About Patient-Centered Guides

Patient-Centered Guides offer good, solid, thorough information to people and their families facing the challenges of life-threatening or life-changing diseases and conditions. Each book provides a mix of medical background to help in making treatment decisions, practical information, and emotional support. With stories of people who have been there woven throughout, the books let the patients themselves decide which issues are important. Hydrocephalus is the latest title in the Patient-Centered Guide series. Others include:

Patient-Centered Guides is a division of O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. O'Reilly is recognized worldwide for its definitive technical books on the Internet, programming, and UNIX, and in the U.S. for its award-winning Travelers' Tales series of travel literature.

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