A message from Erin Kreszl, co-founder and Executive Director
This weekend marks incredible loss for so many people. I often feel as though I’m not worthy to grieve on this day. Despite coming from a family of New Yorkers…I wasn’t there, I didn’t lose a loved one, I didn’t witness the horror. I was in Hamilton, New York, in the sheltered classroom of Colgate University. At 20 years old I obviously had no idea the impact that day had the thousands of other Americans who were in New York on that day, including my sister and two uncles, and whose lives changed forever. What I do grieve though, is the loss of believing that we are undeniably safe. We were reminded that our freedom has a price…one that we gladly pay.
For so many that day marked a Before and After. The day where everything changed, where you categorize your life into two buckets, life before x and life after x. I have two of those events in my life, but today I’ll tell you about one. Today is Jenny’s birthday. She would be 35, which sounds so much different than the young age of 27 when she left us. The Before and After for me is Jenny. Life before Jenny died and life after Jenny died. She wasn’t my sister, daughter, best friend…she was my cousin and I thought she’d always be there. I am still awestruck at the magnitude her loss had on my life, not only personally but professionally. Jenny gave me and my sister, Christine, the gift of The Bee Foundation. A gift I wish I didn’t receive every day, but one I would not know what to do without.
We channeled our grief into building an organization that strives to one day prevent the very disease that we lost Jenny to. With the help of so many along the way, The Bee Foundation is spreading awareness, funding research enacting policy and fostering a strong support community dedicated to preventing brain aneurysm ruptures. The growth of The Bee Foundation in just 8 years is a testament to the lack of resources dedicated to this devastating disease that affects 1 in 50 people. What has touched me the most though has been the opportunity to meet so many of you through our Share Your Story campaign and our Virtual Support Groups. The importance of shared experience is often overlooked but can be lifesaving during recovery. I am so thankful that The Bee Foundation is providing a service to those affected by this disease, either as family who has experienced a loss, as a survivor or as a caretaker. Join us this Tuesday the 14th and the 28th of this month at 11 am and 8 pm EST – register here: TBF Brain Aneurysm Support Hive – The Bee Foundation.
I’ll leave you with a message of Thanks on this somber weekend. Thank you to our Donors, Team Members, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Board, Policy Advisors, Ambassadors, Researchers. Thank you to our friends and family – mom, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins – for always supporting us in many more ways than one. But a special thanks to all those of you who reached out and placed your trust in us to Share Your Story. I know many of you are battling grief, depression, anxiety, and much more as a result of this devastating disease. It is so hard, but remember we can do hard things…we are here for you.
September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness month and The Bee Foundation has one ask. If you have been touched by a brain aneurysm….talk about it, share your experience.
Happy Birthday Jenny…I hope you are proud, we love you