Geneva and Brandon’s Story

My brother, Brandon Dickerson, is a 33-year-old brain aneurysm survivor. I wish I knew that this illness was coming. I wish I would have known that my brother was prone to it. I think getting my story out can save lives. It has the potential to save lives, which is why I became an advocate. It was in March of 2022 when I received a call in the middle of the night from someone letting me know that my brother was being rushed to the hospital. I just gathered up my family and we just headed out to Louisiana. When we arrived, my brother was in a coma. We didn’t know what was going on, what was going to happen with him.

After my brother came out of a coma, he was then transferred to New York to be closer to our family and to get medical treatment. As a result of this illness, his ability to communicate verbally and to walk has been compromised. In my capacity as a caregiver, my role is crucial in providing support, aid, and comfort during my brother’s road to recovery. My life has changed. I feel that I became a parent overnight, but I don’t mind. I’m here for my brother. To be a caregiver, it takes a lot of strength, right? I feel alone at times.

I started off working with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation when I partnered with them for their Team Cindy 5K run in New York City. There I got to meet survivors and other representatives of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. There is definitely a lack of awareness. I learned that African Americans are twice as likely to experience a brain aneurysm. Also, women have a higher risk of brain aneurysms compared to men. He beat the odds. Someone in his condition probably would not have made it, but he did. So I am very grateful for that, and I’m grateful that there’s still hope for him.