On December 28, 2008, our beloved Kimberly A. Tudor was suddenly called to God after sustaining a ruptured brain aneurysm at home. On July 21, 2011, our cherished Karolina A. Kurka also passed away from a ruptured brain aneurysm.
Two families struck by tragedy were brought together by the strong desire to honor the lives of their loved ones.
In 2009 Kim's family and friends organized and held the first annual KAT-WALK in Kim's honor. The name of the event was formed using Kim's initials and the event was held along the beautiful Back Cove area of Portland, Maine where Kim enjoyed many walks with friends and her pug, Bella.
Two more successful walks were held as we discovered our event was becoming a meeting place for other families who have lost loved ones as well as survivors and their care givers.
In 2011, only a few short months after losing Karolina, her family and friends joined our walk and found a community of support that welcomed and comforted them. This also fueled their desire to become more involved. So, in 2012 the first annual KARO-5K was held to honor Karolina and her love of running.
Through the years, we have welcomed people from all over New England as well as from around the country. Their common bond is brain aneurysms. We are very proud of the fact that people have returned year after year and contiue to lend their support and use our events as a way of healing or celebrating someone who has survived.
We are also very aware of the need for educating the public of the risks, symptoms, and treatments of brain aneurysms. Public outreach and research can save lives. If we can educate even one person or one family to go to the emergency room and insist on a scan if they're experiencing any of the symptoms, we've done our job. If we can alert someone to the treatments options available if you're diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, we've done our job. If we can comfort and lend support to one who has lost a loved one, or who has recently suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, we've done our job.
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Our goal is to provide support to the brain aneurysm community, help fund research, and raise public awareness regarding early detection and treatment of brain aneurysms.
Even though the “KAT-Walk & Karo 5K” is named in loving memory of our Kim Tudor and Karolina Kurka, this event is for ALL of us: For the families who have lost someone to this horrible and often silent killer, for those more fortunate and thankfully survived, and for the 1 in 20 that are at RISK.
We are reminded all to often of the suddenness and devastation this disease causes. Each of us can recount the day, hour, moment that the words “Brain Aneurysm” first struck our consciousness: whether it was a pre-rupture diagnosis, the sudden thunderclap pain of a rupture, the waking up in ICU, the weeks, months, even years of recovery, the dealing with disabilities, the getting used to the “new you”, the constant fear of each headache being another aneurysm striking, or the worst, receiving that dreaded call that someone you love just passed away.
We not only remember Kim, Karolina, Dave, Jennifer, Cheyanne, Lisa, Dori, & Nolan, but we remember and honor all of those dear family and friends with sneakers on our memory board, for they all walk and run with us.
|Kimberly A. Tudor
Karolina A. Kurka