Who am I? Professionally, I am the HR Generalist for 83bar and have the honor of working with some amazing people and helping build 83bar’s culture and community. I have worked here for a year now and have loved every second of it! Outside of work, I am a wife and dog mom to my little crazy mutt, Brantley. I also am a published author of my book, Head Strong: Through Life, Love, and Brain Surgery! This book is about my story of overcoming some immeasurable health challenges when I was a Junior in college.
Shortly after my 22nd birthday, I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called Cavernous Angioma. This lesion in my brain ruptured causing a hemorrhagic stroke. There is currently no treatment for this condition and the only known cure is brain surgery, however, my lesion was so deep in my brain that my neurosurgeon considered it inoperable at the time of my diagnosis. Unfortunately, my lesion was especially aggressive and it bled five times over eleven months! The fifth and final stroke paralyzed the entire left side of my body, forcing my neurosurgeon to remove the lesion through brain surgery, or else it was going to kill me. I underwent a 9-hour brain surgery to remove the lesion from my brain but was left with stroke-like deficits. I then spent the next two years relearning how to walk and use my affected arm. My recovery continued, and so did I. I went back to college, graduated with honors, and started my career in HR! My main message in my book is one of hope. Truth is, we all go through hard times, and while we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we react to those challenges!
Although I still live with limited use of my left arm and hand, I have conquered what I like to call “living one-handed in a two-handed world”!
Because of my journey from my brain condition, I have been involved in multiple clinical trials and studies to improve outcomes for stroke victims. It is a journey I truly feel blessed to be on, although it may be difficult at times.