We are raising money to help people with traumatic brain injuries and/or AVMs. We have created a charitable fund through the Jewish Communal Fund called "The Run 4 Brad Fund" (although, of course, the proceeds don't go to Brad!). We are in the process of doing research on the best ways to allocate/grant the money we raise. Some examples of our ideas include: creating a lower limb robotics clinic for ankle/knee muscle re-education at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, and conducting AVM treatment research.
We are inspired to give back by what happened to us on August 4, 2013.
In the summer of 2013, Brad (age 37) was training for the NYC marathon on November 3, 2013 (this would have been his fourth marathon).
On the morning of Sunday, August 4th he was in the kitchen getting a drink of water prior to a training run when the worst headache of his life struck. He immediately called his wife -- who was at the gym -- and said: "something isn't right, you need to come home." Within 30 minutes they found a friend to watch their two young children, got an ambulance, and were at the nearest emergency room. Brad was immediately intubated. Within a matter of hours, Brad was in emergency surgery to have half of his skull removed and placed in his abdomen to relieve the pressure in his brain and to prevent death or further catastrophic damage. He had a massive hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 37.
On that day we learned that Brad had an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which had ruptured that morning. Prior to that day, he never knew he had an AVM. We subsequently learned that he has a congenital malformation of blood vessels (which he was likely born with), that was totally asymptomatic for his entire life. Having an AVM carries an approximate 2% risk per year of hemorrhaging, and August 4th was Brad's unlucky day.
Brad remained in a coma for almost a month. While he was "sleeping," doctors performed a tracheotomy and a feeding tube was inserted into his belly. Brad woke up very slowly and began the painstaking process of re-learning how to breathe, eat, talk, walk, and many other actions that most people take for granted.
Brad was in the hospital for four months and has been home since early December 2013 where he is currently continuing his recovery alongside his wife and 2 boys, ages 3 and 5, and with close friends and family cheering him on. Brad is working toward his goal of running again, and we are hopeful that he will get there. Brad won't stop trying until he reaches his highest potential!
Brad's determination, strength and positive attitude has inspired us all, and has reminded us of what is truly important.
You can find more information about Brad and his story on their website: