CHICAGO, Sept. 2, 2017 : The Chicago-area chapter of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Since September 2007, the chapter, which has its home base in the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, was founded by Janet Sutherland-Madden, a brain aneurysm survivor who has worked tirelessly to raise money for research and build awareness of the warning signs of brain aneurysms.

The chapter has helped start up support groups at Loyola, Hinsdale and Resurrection Hospitals and raised money for the national Brain Aneurysm Foundation. A Research Chair was established this year thanks to the efforts of Sutherland and her team of volunteers.

Sutherland-Madden was in her 30s when she collapsed on her kitchen floor with a ruptured brain aneurysm that left her in a coma and fighting for her life. Her recovery, which doctors deemed miraculous, was fueled by her indomitable will and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2009, she crafted a bill calling for the permanent creation of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month in Illinois for the month of September, a measure that was successfully passed with the help of former State Rep. Sandy Pihos and the support of Illinois hospitals and neurosurgeons.

She now travels annually to Washington, D.C, with her husband, Kevin, to lobby with survivors for federal research funding. Through their work with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation at both the local and national level, awareness of brain aneurysms is at an all-time high. Local hospitals now hold brain aneurysm awareness events during the month of September and there are at least five support groups for brain aneurysm survivors in the Chicago area.

"This was my hope in increasing awareness. I knew how powerful a month recognizing a disease can be," said Sutherland-Madden. "People need to know that a brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes and 1 in 50 people have an aneurysm that could rupture at any time."

To educate children about compassion and helping others, Sutherland-Madden wrote about her dog Andrew J, an abused and abandoned Pembroke corgi that she rescued after her recovery. Andrew J immediately took on the role as a "therapy" dog for Janet. The book highlights that caring for dogs often inspires us to take better care of ourselves, particularly in times of crisis.

The book can be found at Lincoln Public Library in Lincoln, Mass., as well as libraries at British International School of Chicago - Lincoln Park, Holy Family Ministries School in Chicago, Arbor View Elementary School in Glen Ellyn, IL, and the Library of Congress.

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation, a globally recognized leader in brain aneurysm awareness, education, support, advocacy and research funding, will receive a portion of the proceeds of a sale of the book. Proceeds will also be donated to Corgiaid, a nonprofit organization that assists in the rescue and fostering of corgis and corgi mixes.

(Posted on 03 September 2017, 1675919674 3O93O74O25)