Brain Bolt Makes Huge Strides
On a beautiful, crisp morning last October, more than 200 aneurysm survivors joined their families, physicians, and members of the community for the first ever Brain Bolt 5K run/walk hosted by Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine in Indianapolis. The day’s purpose and outcome were a perfect start to a new tradition.
“One of the goals of this inaugural event was to bring together patients, community members, and our Goodman Campbell team in the spirit of fostering awareness and celebrating those impacted by brain aneurysms,” said Nicholas M. Barbaro, MD, chairman of the Neurosurgery Foundation at Goodman Campbell.
Our race participants and generous sponsors helped raise more than $35,000. A tremendous amount that we plan to succeed next year.
The 5K was kicked off with a welcome from Mitesh Shah, MD, neurovascular surgeon and president of Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine, and Thomas McGuinness, an aneurysm survivor who was care for by the team at Goodman Campbell. Together they shared the poignant story of Thomas’ aneurysm rupture, treatment, and recovery. It is a story that is shared by hundreds of aneurysm patients in Indiana every year.
Andrew Denardo, MD, an interventional neuroradiologist at Goodman Campbell, enthusiastically counted down to the start of the race, and the runners sprinted across the start line followed by families with children in strollers and on bicycles. Cheers echoed through the crowd as the first runners crossed the finish line. The cheers continued as the aneurysm survivors, proudly wearing their red survivor t-shirts, completed the race hand-in-hand with their families.
The closing ceremony was led by two of group’s neurovascular surgeons Drs. Troy Payner and Thomas Leipzig. As he spoke about the prevalence of brain aneurysms, Dr. Payner remarkably told the crowd he had just received an emergency phone call that a patient was being flown to the hospital with a ruptured brain aneurysm. Before Dr. Payner rushed away to meet the helicopter, those assembled paused for a moment of silence—sadly aware that another family may join their ranks and begin the difficult fight for survival and recovery.
Race participants also wrote messages of love and hope in honor of family and friends who have suffered from a brain aneurysm. As a tribute to these individuals, the messages were tied to balloons. As he spoke about the history and purpose of the event, Dr. Leipzig invited brain aneurysm survivors to join him on the stage and in a powerfully moving moment, the survivors released the balloons. The crowd fell silent as the balloons and their messages floated away into the blue sky.
As a national leader in the number of aneurysm patients cared for annually, Goodman Campbell is dedicated to advancing the health of adults and children with neurosurgical disorders by providing superior care in a state-of-the-art environment of healing, teaching, and discovery. To offer continued care and support beyond the initial neurosurgical treatment, we have hosted an aneurysm support group for survivors and their families for more 25 years.
Race proceeds were donated to the Neurosurgery Foundation at Goodman Campbell and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.