Dawn and Chuck’s Story

My journey started in 2013. I was working out and I felt a weird pain in the back of my head and I really didn’t think anything of it because I used to get like 12 to 18 headaches a month anyway. About a week later, I was talking to somebody, she was my trainer and she said, “You know, if you still have that pain, you really should have it checked out.” And so I called my neurologist and scheduled an MRI, and it turned out that I did have an aneurysm in my brain. I found the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, started researching that, and I started making some phone calls. And I said that, you know, my wife has been diagnosed with a giant fusiform aneurysm, and I really need to talk to somebody.

I really want to understand what we need to do. That day, I got a call from Dee Dee Buckley. And Dee Dee said, “You need to get her here tomorrow.” And that’s how the journey really started.

In my head, I was a little worried because I thought I might never be the same. Yeah, and we were already prepared for that. I mean, we made a pact that if whatever happens, we’re going to get through it. We’re going to do it together. And like, you know, I always say that we’re extremely lucky because we’ve had an incredible marriage. And I think that really helped us get through everything. When she was going through, when she couldn’t talk, and she was trying to communicate, she was like, I kind of saw it.

It’s kind of an odd thing to say, but I saw the young girl inside of Dawn. Once I got one thing right, I would say, like I was so happy that I got one number correct. And the next day, I would try to remember that same word. And that would be the day of recovery. And at the same time, I was able to see her mind just basically rewire itself. You could see the brain rewiring itself. We know about a heart attack, goes down the arm, or other illnesses, but we don’t know enough about brain aneurysms and we need to spread the word. We need to get that out there because one in 50 people, that’s a lot. I was one of those people.

It’s not in my family. So it was quite a surprise and we feel the need to get that out there and Brain Aneurysm Foundation also helps with research as well. There’s just a lot out there that we can do to help more people being diagnosed sooner and save more lives.