Airdronian raising brain aneurysm awareness

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Airdrie resident Pauline Taylor is working to raise awareness and funds in support of Neurovascular Research at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

She is currently organizing the fourth annual Bowling for Brains event, which will be held Oct. 1 at National on 10th in Calgary.

September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness month. According to Taylor, one in 50 people are unknowingly walking around with a brain aneurysm.

Taylor woke up on a normal summer morning with an abnormal headache. She decided to get it checked out after speaking with a friend. After being rushed to the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre, she was transferred to the Peter Lougheed Centre and then taken to the neurology unit at the Foothills Medical Centre. She was finally admitted to surgery that night.

Taylor said she had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm.

She said she remembers being wheeled into her unit at the Foothills Medical Centre and seeing the worried faces of her friends and colleagues.

It’s been over two years and Taylor said she is just starting to get her life back.

“I’ve been able to get back to doing everything that I was doing before, and that’s not always possible with some patients,” she said.

Taylor said she hopes the Bowling for Brains event will help promote early detection of brain aneurysms by providing knowledge and raising awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors.

“If (life) throws you a curve ball, you’ve got to deal with it, and this is how I want to deal with it,” she said.

Taylor is also involved with a support group for aneurysm survivors. Running out of the Foothills Medical Centre, the support group meets on the first Monday of every month.

Taylor said the key to a quick recovery is keeping a positive attitude. She said her optimistic outlook is what got her and her family through her 16-month recovery. Taylor was forced to relearn fine motor skills such as sewing and being able to concentrate on reading.

“I’ve thought, ‘it’s happened now, and now I’ve got to move forward,’” she said.

Jamie “the Coach” Herbison, from Calgary radio show Don, Joanne, and the Coach, is hosting the event, which begins at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and include appetizers, door prizes, a 50/50 draw, a large silent auction and, of course, bowling.

Tickets are available online at calgaryhealthtrust.ca/events/event-list/2017/bowling-for-brains

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