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African Americans Are High-Risk Group for Brain Aneurysm Ruptures

brainThe Lisa Colagrossi Foundation (TLCF) revealed new survey findings about the African American population to help guide the focus of brain aneurysm education in the African American community. In addition to the startling lack of awareness re: the higher risk levels, 90 percent of Americans ages 18+ can’t fully identify what a brain aneurysm is and 30% don’t believe you can do anything about it. This is truly problematic for the African American population as they are not only at a higher risk, but peak incidence of ruptures occurs a decade earlier than other populations.

According to Todd Crawford, founder of TLCF – the first organization devoted to awareness and education, millions of lives can be saved if Americans are equipped with the critical information necessary to self-diagnose themselves and are informed about what to do.Right now, 93 percent of Americans admit their knowledge about brain aneurysms ranges from limited to non-existent.

“If someone had been doing the work TLCF is now, advancing the signs and symptoms, we could have recognized Lisa’s sudden onset of the worst headache of her life as one of the classic warning signs of a brain aneurysm and chances are that she would be working right alongside of us advocating for increased awareness,” says Todd, who founded TLCF upon the loss of his beloved wife, an ABC News television journalist who passed away 18 months ago from a brain aneurysm rupture while on assignment. “Our mission and approach are very different and have already been validated as a number of people have credited TCLF with saving their lives in just our first year. We have barely scratched the surface and won’t stop until our mission is complete.”

According to Dr. Riina, a leading neurosurgeon at NYU Langone and the head of the medical board for TLCF, there are prevention strategies and treatments in place to stop a brain aneurysm from rupturing. “The real problem is that brain aneurysms occur suddenly and Americans are not informed to recognize all the signs,” says Dr. Riina. “Consequently, theyaren’t getting to the emergency room early enough and lives that might have been saved are lost or diminished by life-long disabilities.”

To address this very real gap in knowledge about brain aneurysms, The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation is hosting its first major fundraising event, “A Cerebral Affair” gala – on September 29 in the Lighthouse of Chelsea Piers. The gala will raise funds for national awareness and educational programs. Because of TLCF and its work, the event has attracted all of the major players from across the country in the brain aneurysm industry to discuss awareness, prevention and earlier treatment. Athletes including NFL player Albert Haynesworth who survived a brain aneurysm, celebrities, media personalities and others who have been touched by a brain aneurysm will also join the gala. The group assembled will honor survivors who have tackled the road to recovery with incredible spirit and determination and remember those who have lost their lives to the devastating condition.

Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Gretchen Carlson and Bill Ritter, the brain aneurysm event will feature a festive reception, silent and live auctions, a formal dinner, a special performance by the NFL Players Choir and moving tributes from many who have been personally impacted by brain aneurysms. Some of those scheduled to attend include NASCAR drivers; New York Knicks legend John Starks; former New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck; and former Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

To learn more about TLCF and the upcoming “A Cerebral Affair” gala, visit

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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