IF Board Member Elena Monzón de Záppoli, chair of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association from Argentina, has been working with Pope Francis when he was still Cardinal Bergoglio in Buenos Aires. They attended several workshops together on disability and inclusion. She praises his humility and social involvement and is proud and happy that the new Argentine Pope is the first to be chosen from Latin-America. She wrote to IF "He is always traveling by bus or train. He has never accepted to have a driver for his daily life. He is consistent between what he says and he does." Instead of living in an archbishop's palace, he chose to live in a small room in a downtown Buenos Aires home, he did his own cooking and visited the poor in Argentine slums.
Albert De Greve was born with a low lesion Spina Bifida in Zelzate, Belgium, on 13 March 1923. During his adult life he worked as a tailor in his family's business, riding his bike to work. Nowadays, Albert lives in a retirement home in Sint-Niklaas (B). He is well taken care of and he is very happy there. Albert realises how extraordinary it is for him to reach this respectable age. "Not having hydrocephalus saved my life, because back in those days, there was no treatment for it. Children with hydrocephalus were left to die". IF wishes Albert a very happy birthday and congratulates him with reaching this impressive milestone.
From May 23-24, 2013, IF’s member organisation from Estonia is organising the 1st Baltic conference on multidisciplinary care for people with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus, in cooperation with IF. The conference will take place in the Europe Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia. Target groups of the conference are all healthcare professionals involved in the field of Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. The programme will focus on the latest scientific developments in medical treatment, as well as on the psychological and social issues involved. Experts from multidisciplinary clinics will present the experiences in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany and Estonia. IF president Pierre Mertens and Mrs. Ann Paal, head of the Estonian Spina bifida and Hydrocephalus Society, will be among the speakers at this unique conference.