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April 20, 2013 - CNI Presents Annual Cindy Acree Hope Awards

What: The Annual Cindy Acree Hope Awards, presented by the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI), honor inspiring patients who show great courage and determination in the face of a neurological condition. The awards are named in honor of Colorado State Representative Cindy Acree, an epilepsy and stroke survivor.

Where: Inverness Hotel & Conference Center

When: Saturday, April 20, 2013

Time: 6 p.m.

Ticket Prices: Complimentary event for CNI corporate partners, sponsors, and Hope Award recipients and their families and friends.

EMCEE: Cindy Acree

Welcome: Ron Kubit, CNI board president

Speaker: Cindy Acree

Catering: Inverness Golf & Conference Center

Music: James Reardon, piano

Sponsors: Ron & Beth Eller, Art & Kathy Judd, Rick & Robin Fort, Jon & Tam Stuck, The Swedish Auxiliary, RIA, Triple B, Craig Hospital, and CBSI

Menu: Inverness house salad with mixed baby field greens, seared chicken breast with toasted shallot chardonnay sause, roasted herb potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables; triple mousse pie with raspberry and kiwi couli, and carrot cake with walnuts

Attire: Business

Board of Directors: Ron Eller, chairman; Rajeev Kumar, MD, vice chairman; Jon E Stuck, treasurer; Robin Fort, secretary; Lynn Bunnell, Diane G. Cook, Christopher V. Fanale, MD, A. Craig Fleishman, Esq., Mike Fordyce, Donald F. Frei, MD, Stanley Gallery, Arthur S. Judd, David C. Kelsall, MD, Ron Kubit, Steven P. Lantz, Peter E Ricci, MD, Sarah Tomicich, CPA, Mary White, Tami Lack

Blacktie Photos by: Janet Snell-Bergeon


 Jack Sommars, 2013 Hope Award recipient, with Dr. Alan Weintraub
Jack Sommars, 2013 Hope Award recipient, with Dr. Alan Weintraub

On Saturday, April 20, people from across the community gathered in Englewood, Colorado for the 2013 Cindy Acree Hope Awards Celebration. The event, presented by the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI), honored inspiring patients who show great courage and determination in the face of a neurological condition. The awards are named in honor of Colorado State Representative Cindy Acree, an epilepsy and stroke survivor.

2013 Cindy Acree Hope Awards Winners:

Donna Miller: Donna is a patient of Dr. Rajeev Kumar and has undergone Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for her Parkinson's Disease, with positive results. She runs a DBS support group, has volunteered to help produce patient education videos with Dr. Kumar, and recently produced a PD/DBS video which was entered into the highly respected American Academy of Neurology "Neuro Film Festival" in 2012. She is a strong community advocate for PD education and treatment and is an inspiration and motivator to other patients and families.

Jack Sommars: Jack was nominated by Dr. David Loy, a CNI Interventional Neuroradiologist and researcher, as well as Dr. Alex West, neurosurgeon and Director of CNI's Brain and Spinal Tumor program. He is high level executive who was treated at SMC for a grade 5 subarachnoid hemorrhage. Jack was near death and his wife, a physician assistant for a pulmonologist, agonized over his treatment and considered withdrawing life support. Bravely, she decided to give him more time and he eventually made a "miraculous recovery." Jack is a writer and plans to document his journey and experience as a neurology patient near death, with little hope of recovery.

Henrik Frei is a young man nominated by Dr. Daniel Huddle, an interventional neuroradiologist at Swedish. He was seen by the Swedish stroke team, the interventional neuroradiology department, and partners at Craig Hospital. This past year, Henrik experienced a severe stroke with very serious complications. At the time, he was the father of twin two year old girls, made sausages for a living, and his wife was pregnant with their third child. His outcome was deemed poor based on the severity of his case. His recovery both at Swedish, and then moving to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital, has been remarkable. His case worker states, "Henrik is so positive and motivational to others because he works so hard! He has a great outlook and has made tremendous gains in rehab." Henrik now has a 4-month-old son and his long term prognosis is bright. He is expected to be fully independent, back to work, and able to be an active parent to his three young children.

Caitlyn Deichsel is a six-year-old who has been dealing with her severe/profound hearing loss since she was born. Beginning at 3 months, she tried hearing aids and began speech therapy. When she was two, she had her first cochlear implant and at age 5, she asked for a second implant. Less than a year later, her device needed to be replaced and she (again) met the challenges of surgery and rehab with courage and fortitude. She and her family have been actively involved with the CNI Cochlear Kids Camp and have taken on the role of fundraising, marketing and advocacy very seriously. Last year, Caitlyn's dad taught a course at the camp for other families on how to build a lemonade stand and work with corporate partners to raise funds so that kids and families across the country could attend the camps. Caitlyn's mother has worked with her employer to donate funds for the camp as well. Caitlyn also participated in CNI's "Halloween for Hearing" in 2011 and canvassed her neighborhood, raising funds and awareness for cochlear kids.

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