Cindy’s Story

I’m Cindy Sorenson, and this is my son. I’m Christian Sorenson. I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, and I’m retired. My son Christian and I, were in Spain for a wedding, and I was in the elevator of the hotel the night before the wedding, and I had a gentleman standing to the left of me, and I noticed that I couldn’t see his head out of the corner of my eye.

And then I noticed it a few more times over the course of the trip, so that when I got home, I called my ophthalmologist and went in to see her, and she did a field vision test, I think that’s what it’s called, and came back and told me, you know, you’ve lost vision in both of your eyes.

So this is not a vision issue, this is a brain issue. And she said, “I think you’ve had a stroke, so I want you to have an MRI.” The angiogram found the aneurysm that I have, and it had bled a little bit, caused a clot to go out, and then caused the TIA stroke, so I did have a stroke. And within a couple of days, I was having surgery to coil that and then also to do a bypass, so I had a craniotomy as well. It’s so strange. There was no family history. I had none of the risk factors. I tell a lot of people, you got to listen to your body. If something’s not right, then… And sadly, aneurysms don’t discriminate.

A few months later, there was a support group she was at that recommended getting your kids tested, and screened for it. So my brother and I have both been screened just to kind of see if there’s anything related to it that could harm us. I fortunately haven’t had any issues, but it was because of that, there was another heart-related issue that she has that runs in families, and it was something we were able to identify within my brother. So when we talk about that we’re advocating for additional funding for research and awareness and education, that awareness and education part isn’t just for the public, it’s for our medical community who’s missing this or who’s refusing to do scans. I think it’s also a story of hope, and this is what, when we ask for funding, this is what it does. It brings people’s lives back.