Age group heroes complete successful swims for hydrocephalus

Team Hydro is thrilled to announce yet another successful pair of fundraising swims by two incredible age group swim teams: The Dorset Dolphins of Marietta, GA, and the Little Falls Penguins of Bethesda, MD.

The Dolphin Dash took place on June 22nd, with 47 athletes completed a record 73 miles and raising almost $15k.  Inspired by their own Lilly Beck (a swimmer and patient), this year’s group from Georgia included swimmers as young as five years old!

The Little Falls Penguins completed a swim of their own on July 11th, with more than 60 registered swimmers. As always, the Penguin’s enthusiasm in supporting the cause is incredibly inspiring. Like the Dolphins, the Penguins are also motivated by a special young swimmer-patient: Team Hydro’s inspiration Kate, who once set records in the very pool in which the Penguins completed their fundraiser.

Taken together, The Dorset Dolphins and Little Falls Penguins have raised nearly $20,000 for Hydrocephalus research so far this summer…and they’re still just getting started!

You can support the swimmers by donating at:

Voices of Hydrocephalus

Listen to the voices of the patients, parents, physicians, and reseachers of Hydrocephalus.  This striking video was created by Craig and Vicki Brown and the Hydrocephalus Association. It was featured at the recent event Vision Dinner: A Time for Awareness, A Hope for a Cure.  Team Hydro is proud to be a founding partner of this effort.


Thanks to generous overhead sponsorship, 100% of donations will fund research efforts.

Boston Harbor Swim at Success!

Team Hydro completed its final swim of the season, as our swimmers crossed the waters on the Hahbah on Sunday, September 9th.  Some 25 swimmers successful made the crossing as several dozen additional Team Hydro volunteers helped shepherd the swimmers in kayaks. 

Team Hydro members once again came from a very interesting range of backgrounds — including several full-time hydrocephalus researchers, a venture capitalist funding the development of a brand-new non-shunt surgical procedure to treat the condition, undergraduates and graduate students from throughout Boston, and professionals ranging from Philadelphia to California.

After getting acquainted and discussing the exciting work going on at Team Hydro, we hit the waters!  


As always, a great time was had by all.  In addition, quite a few hydro swimmers made their way onto the podium!

To all those who participated with Team Hydro this year, by land and by sea, thank you for another great season!

And, as always, don’t forget that the cause isn’t finished!  Go to to support of efforts to find a cure for Hydrocephalus!

Team Hydro completes another successful Alcatraz Swim!

The weather was warm and spirits were high as Team Hydro completed its 13th crossing from Alcatraz Island into Aquatic Park, San Francisco.  42 swimmers from across the country joined our ranks and raised more than $50,000 in the process!

One thing that made this year’s swim particularly special was the participation of three hydrocephalus patients:  the fantastic veteran swimmer-patients Kyle Voulgaris and Kate Damrell, as well as six-month-old Amelia Coury (represented in the water by her father Tom).

Prior to the swim, we heard messages and updates from our founders, and the touching and inspiring accounts of how hydrocephalus has impacted the families of Kate, Kyle, Tom, and Pam.  They communicated our shared optimism but also our shared resolve to provide a better future for millions who suffer from hydrocephalus.

We also got to hear an exciting preview of some major progress update in our funding efforts (official announcement forthcoming!).

After that, it was off to the boats and into the water!  As you can see, this year was really a blast.  Conditions were perfect and the company could not have been any better.  As always, our volunteers on land and in the water did an amazing job at helping everything to run smoothly and safely.

You can see the complete results of the swim here.  Among the highlights were some amazing performances by Kyle Voulgaris (25:19.6), Kerra Bispo (28:46.7), Ryan Auker (28:55.6), and Carly Wickman (30:24.9).

Thank you to all who made this year special.  And don’t forget to support the cause!

See you next year!

Donate to support the swim here!

Team Hydro Set to Conquer Two Coasts in Back to Back September Swims!

Labor day weekend may mark the end of summer for many folks, but for TEAM HYDRO it marks the beginning of two amazing events aimed at raising Awareness and Research funds to combat Hydrocephalus!

First up, on September 1 the Team will once again enter the icy waters of the SF Bay and Escape Alcatraz in the 2nd Annual Team Hydro Swim For Hydrocephalus! As most know, the Team already participated in the Sharkfest Alcatraz swim back in June of this year. But the work we are doing cant stop there while people are still suffering from this devastating condition — so we will hit the water again.  This Alcatraz Swim, produced by and for Team Hydro, will certainly prove once again to be an exciting and inspiring event as one and all join together to fund hydrocephalus research.  Team Members will range in age from teens to septuagenarians, and include NCAA champions as well as swimmers living with hydrocephalus.  Swimmers will meet at 8:15am, and 0nland supporters can expect to see swimmers reaching the beach at Aquatic Park beginning around 10:30am.  We cant wait to see you in San Francisco on Sept 1!

Raising research funds is the mission of Team Hydro so swimmers, volunteers, and on-land supporters alike have been working hard to acquire donations in support of their Swim for Hydrocephalus.  Thanks to the generosity of Genentech and other private funding, 100% of these donations (along with all registration fees collected) will go directly to fund hydrocephalus Research!  

Following the Alcatraz Swim, Team Hydro members will gather across the continent the very next week, to cross the Boston Harbor on September 9th!  Joining this swim will be students and professors from Harvard and MIT, family members of people living with hydrocephalus, and even a grandmother.  

Team Hydro is working so hard in order to fully fund more important research aimed a finding a cure for this condition.  Hydrocephalus is the cause of more children’s brain surgeries than any other condition, and affects people of all ages from infants to oldest adults!

Can you help us FUND a CURE?  PLEASE donate here!!

Nothing can Stop the Penguins!

Despite soaring temperatures followed by thunderstorms that closed the pool for the afternoon session, the Penguins of Little Falls swam today for hydrocephalus!

And boy, did they swim — over 65 miles, in fact!  The team got off to an early start in this their 7th amazing swim for hydrocephalus.  Swimmers ranging from age 5 to 18 swam as far as possible in hopes of finding a cure for the life-threatening condition which took the life of a former teammate.

Each swimmer wore a bracelet honoring a person with the condition as inspiration to help them keep going when the going got tough, just as hydrocephalus patients must do every single day. 

These dedicated and compassionate swimmers also made cards in the sweltering heat for hydrocephalus patients which will be distributed to patients in hospitals across the country.

When the pool closed early due to storms, the team took their efforts to a local Chipotle where they continued to raise funds for important research! 

Team Hydro couldn’t be prouder to be affiliated with the incredible Penguins of Little Falls.  We thank each an every Penguin, as well as their coaches, parents, friends, donors, and on-land supporters for the great work they continue to do to ensure that one day a cure will be found for this difficult condition.  Team Hydro would especially like to thank team parent, Sarah Farnsworth, who once again organized this incredible event!

If you would like to donate to the cause and support the Team’s effort, you can do so at

Go Team Hydro!

Go Penguins!

Let’s Fund a Cure!  

Dolphins “Dash” to Amazing Success!

The Dorset Dolphin Swim Team of Marietta, Georgia took to the water on Saturday and raised over $11,000 (and counting!) for Hydrocephalus Research.  This marked the 3rd Annual Dolphin Dash for Hydrocephalus!   This incredible Team Hydro event, organized by parents Anna & TJ Beck and Crysie Grelecki, reached new heights this year by increasing not only the amount of dollars raised, but also the number of participants swimming to beat this difficult condition affecting the brain.
This year Dolphins recruited coaches, friends, family and even swimmers from opposing teams to help them in their quest to find a cure for the life-threatening condition. Each swimmer raised much needed research funds and awareness with  every stroke, while on-land supporters and donors cheered them on from the deck.  A local radio station was also on hand to spin tunes and support these amazing young people in their quest to help others through their swimming.

The day got off to an inspiring start when young Dolphin swimmers Lily and Parker, who both live with shunted hydrocephalus, addressed the crowd along with their parents and Coach (who coincidentally has a young nephew named Charlie with hydrocephalus).  Lily and Parker then swam the first lap together as the rest of the swimmers cheered them on.  Incredibly, these 3 young people have already endured 9 brains surgeries in an attempt to treat their hydrocephalus! 

Lily and Parker’s  presence and the  inspiring words spoken, made the cause real for all those gathered that morning. Every person present was moved by the courage of these young kids who live with ongoing uncertainty  every day–knowing they could need another brain surgery at any moment. 
The group also learned more about the condition of hydrocephalus itself– how doctors are not yet certain what causes it, how it can happen to people of all ages from tiny premature babies to older adults, how doctors can’t cure it, and about what it feels like to live with a  condition for which  the only treatment  requires brain surgery!   

Thank you Lily and Parker for being willing to share your story to help us raise awareness and research funds which will help others like you in the years to come!

Thank you also to ALL the Swimmers, donors, sponsors, and on-land supporters who helped make this year’s Dolphin Dash such an enormous success!  

As with every Team Hydro event, EVERY dollar raised will be used to support research aimed at finding new, non-surgical treatments and ultimately a cure for hydrocephalus!  We cant wait for the day that Lily, Parker, Charlie and others with hydrocephalus will not need undergo any more brain surgery.  

If you want to support the cause you can still donate to the Dolphin Dash here!

You can learn more about Team Hydro Research here.

Check out pictures from the event below.

Go Dolphins!
Go Team Hydro!

Together we WILL Fund a Cure for Hydrocephalus!
Swimmers of all ages participated in this great event!

With each stroke, swimmers raised funds and awareness for hydrocephalus!


Lily and Parker are two swimmers on the Dolphins Swim Team who live with shunted hydrocepahlus.


Volunteers help keep track of all the laps!

Team Hydro Swims On at Alcatraz Sharkfest Event!

A marine wind advisory and low lying fog may have been enough to force the US coast guard to alter the swim course from Alcatraz today, but NOTHING could stop Team Hydro from swimming in support of hydrocephalus research! United by a great desire to find a cure for this life-threatening condition, dozens of Team Hydro swimmers congregated at Aquatic Park and swam their hearts out for the cause in the annual Sharkfest Swim.
And what a great day it turned out to be!  Team Hydro was recognized by Sharkfest as the charity of the day, and as a result, well over a thousand people in attendance at Aquatic Park learned about the condition called hydrocephalus and the urgent need for continued research.  Team Hydro Founder Peter Finlayson spoke passionately from the podium to the assembled crowd about the condition, receiving a robust round of applause by people touched by the story and mission of Team Hydro.  During the day,  many swimmers and their family members came to the booth to learn more about what we do, and many plan to join the Team Hydro squad in the future.
Team Hydro was so thrilled to meet and make so many new friends today, and not just raise funds for research, but also work towards fulfilling our mission of raising awareness for the cause. Many of our swimmers were once again atop the winners podium, and ALL swimmers had a great day!  
We left the shores of the bay more excited than ever for our next Alcatraz Swim, scheduled for later this summer–on September 1, 2018. 
If you are interested in swimming from Alcatraz with Team Hydro, on labor day weekend contact us at info@teamhydro.orgPlease note that space is limited! If you want to swim in our Boston Harbor Swim (a Sharkfest affiliated event),  on September 9th, sign up here– don’t forget to click the Team Hydro Box on your registration!
Thank you again to all our swimmers, donors, and on-land supporters!  We are making a difference together, as we work to Fund a Cure! 

Team Hydro Boasts Full Schedule for 2018!

With Memorial Day behind us, summer is in sight!

And of course, Team Hydro is hitting the water with a full schedule of events aimed at finding a cure for hydrocephalus !!

Team Hydro will open our season on 2018 June 8 with our annual participation in the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim!!  Almost 100 swimmers will be proudly wearing a Team Hydro cap as they swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in the is always challenging 2 mile swim!! 

Swimmers will be jumping off the ferry at 8:50 am and braving the freezing cold and turbulent waters of the bay in an effort to fund a cure for an even more difficult and life-threatening medical condition!  Swimmers who have not yet set up a fundraising page can do so HERE! Make your swim count and raise funds for hydrocephalus research!  Join the team before and after the event at the Team Hydro banner to make new friends, get fired up for the swim, and of course grab your official race-sanctioned Team Hydro swim cap!  

Next up will be the 3rd Annual Dolphin Dash for Hydrocephalus Research on June 23rd!! This amazing event hosted and organized by the Dorset Dolphin Swim Team of Marietta, Georgia will consist of age-group swimmers (and any willing friends and family) swimming as far as they can during the morning of June 23rd in order to raise research funds.  

The Dolphin Swim Team seeks to honor of all people with hydrocephalus, but is especially mindful of 3 special young people as they swim for research–Teammates Lilly B and Parker, as well as Charlie, (the nephew of the team’s coach) who all are currently living with shunted hydrocephalus! 

This year, the Dolphins have invited swimmers from other teams in their league to join them in their quest to raise research funds for hydrocephalus!!  Team Hydro could not be more proud of our Dolphin Dash swimmers, donors, and on-land supporters!  

For More information on the 2018 Dolphin Dash, or to donate to the cause simply click HERE!

Team Hydro is also proud to announce that the 7th Annual Little Falls Swim for Hydrocephalus— the Penguin Plunge— will tamp place on July 3!!  This incredible event, in Bethesda Maryland features the Mighty Penguins of Little Falls Swim Team who, have already raised tens of thousands of dollars for hydrocephalus research.  The Team swims in honor of former teammate Kate Finlayson who passed from hydrocephalus at an early age. Team Hydro is amazed and grateful to the Penguins for their ongoing support of hydrocephalus research. We ARE making a difference, one stroke at a time! 

Team Hydro will then host a second Alcatraz swim on Saturday, September 1.  This special event will be open for registration soon! So stay tuned!

Team Hydro will round out its 2018 season in September by taking part in the Boston Harbor Swim for Hydrocephalus on September 9.   Swimmers (or VOLUNTEERS) interested in participating in this event can sign up on the Sharfkfest site — Be sure to check the TEAM HYDRO BOX– sign-up HERE.  

Team Hydro looks forward to another amazing year of raising funds for hydrocephalus research!  

We remain grateful to ALL our swimmers, donors , and on-land supporters!!  

And REMEMBER–you don’t have to be a swimmer to help the cause– ANYONE can raise funds for hydrocephalus research! 

Help us FUND a CURE for this debilitating and life-threatening disease!

Set up your own fund raising page HERE!

Team Hydro, and the over 1 million Americans currently living with hydrocephalus–THANK YOU!! 

See you in (or around) the water this summer!!

Research Update: Team Hydro dollars help grant recipient strike GOLD Down Under!!

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Michael Piper — sponsored by a Team Hydro seed grant — has won a $500,000 award from the government of Australia to expand his research on the molecular mechanisms of Hydrocephalus.  This exciting progress — and 20:1 “return” on investment for Team Hydro — is the latest of several examples of Team Hydro seed grants that have collectively bloomed into several million dollars of public funding.  Taken together, this success is a strong testament to our research investment model.


Research with a cure in mind

How — exactly — does Hydrocephalus arise?  What are the molecular mechanisms that steer the development of a healthy brain, how do they break down in our beloved patient’s brains, and could we intervene to tip the balance back towards health?  These are among the questions that work like Dr. Piper’s seeks to address.

When Dr. Piper applied for a Team Hydro/HA grant in 2015, he had conducted preliminary experiments which led him to believe that a transcription factor called NFIX might be a key player in the process through which young babies’ brains finish developing after birth. More specifically, he suspected that reduced NFIX might disrupt the migration of radial glia stem cells in the lateral ventricles (the part of the brain that produces most of our CSF, the “hydro” in hydrocephalus). By developing a special mouse that lacked NFIX — and new tools to study it — Dr. Piper proposed to paint the picture of how stem cells relied on NFIX. In so doing, he argued, he could gain insights into how hydrocephalus develops and perhaps guide interventions that could ameliorate its effects.  Given his proposal, we were eager to see what he could find!

In the past several years, Dr. Piper’s theories have held up!  In one recent paper in the journal Neural Development, the lab published the results of the very experiments Dr. Piper proposed to us in 2015. Among (a bunch of!) other results, he included one picture that our readers may appreciate. See the large black hole in right side of the image below?  That is hydrocephalic fluid filling up the ventricles in the mouse without NFIX!  Dr. Piper’s experiments documented this process in rich detail, AND revealed a new molecule that appeared to reverse the effect!

A bright future ahead

Given this success, it is unsurprising that the Australian government has agreed to extensively fund Dr. Piper’s lab to further test and expand these theories and their relevance to hydrocephalus. And given that the receipt of large public research grants is the lifeblood of academic research labs, Dr. Piper is well on his way to a long and highly productive career in this space!  As he does so, the world will not just benefit from his work, but the work of all the students who he trains to be hydrocephalus researchers.

Ultimately, Team Hydro’s grant will be a small drop in the bucket of funding that Dr. Piper will leverage in his research on hydrocephalus. However, particularly these days, it is all-but-impossible for researchers to receive major public grants without the extensive preliminary data made possible through seed grants like Dr. Piper’s Innovator award.  

At Team Hydro, we are dedicated to continuing to support promising researchers like Dr. Piper, so that they and their trainees may find firm initial footing within the hydrocephalus space. In doing so, it is our hope that these good men and women will continue to work on hydrocephalus until a cure can be found!

We aren’t done yet!

Care to support more revolutionary researchers like Dr. Piper?  Visit !

As always, we continue to underwrite our own overhead, so that 100% of donations received at Team Hydro are used to fund cure-focused research in Hydrocephalus.


Thank you, Dr. Piper!  And thank you to all the swimmers and donors who make Team Hydro possible.

Go Team Hydro!  Find a Cure!