Making a difference, here at home

4 Nov

When I think of what great is made of, I think of the team at Iowa Spine and Brain Institute. My journey with this incredible group of talented individuals began in October 2005 when I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation, a disorder of the brain where the cerebellum is herniated through the foramen magnum and into the spinal canal.

Being a young mother faced with a fairly rare and often misdiagnosed brain condition, I looked to this team for education and answers. For the last four years, the medical staff has matched me every step of the way – providing counsel and support on my quest for relief of symptoms that left me struggling on some of my worst days. I’ve been a part of the ISBI family since the early days, getting to the know the medical staff during routine visits and monitoring of my brain condition.

It wasn’t until after the recent birth of my third child in March 2009 that my Chiari Malformation condition worsened to a point that I became a true neurosurgery candidate. This is where Dr. Tim Ryken entered my life.

He took on my case history and digested it until he understood every challenge I had been facing through the years. He met with my family, answered our questions, and made the preparations for my Chiari Malformation Decompression surgery on July 28, 2009. It needs to be noted that the team of professionals working with him in the clinic are best-in-class, assisting him in making sure this process was seamless for me.

There are so many people across our world struggling with Chiari Malformation. And, so many of these people have no voice and no hope in sight for relief. I am truly fortunate to have a team that understands my challenges and struggles and puts my best interests top-of-mind. Because my partnership with Dr. Ryken has been so incredibly rewarding, I have made it my mission to share my Chiari story with others.

Never once since those days in July have I questioned my decision to have neurosurgery, nor to have this life-changing procedure done right here at home, in the Cedar Valley.

From the bottom of my heart, I extend sincere gratitude to Dr. Timothy Ryken and his team at Iowa Spine and Brain Institute for making a difference in my life, and in the lives of others. I am forever your advocate.

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