We Call Ourselves Zebras

”Wee call ourselves ‘zebras,’” Yehuda Gelman tells me about the group he has come to regard as family.


Every medical school student is familiar with the saying “When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” In other words, it’s wiser to focus on the most likely possibility in making a diagnosis rather than on something out of left field. If your patient’s nose is running, it’s probably a cold, not a rare form of cancer.

But Yehuda and individuals living with a rare condition are the exception, the “zebras” of the medical world who have now joined forces to champion their cause.

How did Yehuda, a frum man from New York, become involved?

“I have hydrocephalus,” he explains. “Hydrocephalus, which used to be known as ‘water on the brain,’ is a condition in which excess fluid builds up around the brain. I was born with it.”

“How does it affect you?” I ask.


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