PARAMUS, N.J. — Almost 30 months after suffering a brain aneurysm at Maywood’s HackensackUMC Fitness and Wellness Center, Patty Petrula of Paramus is going back. This time, to raise awareness.
The survivor has organized a series of fundraisers throughout September — Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month — including one this Sunday at a dance studio in Dumont and another at the wellness center on Friday, Sept. 30 (SEE PHOTOS ABOVE).
“The main thing is that I want people to keep moving,” said Petrula, 45, who was training for a triathlon at the time of her accident. “My recovery was so good because I was in very good shape.”
Petrula's mantra throughout her recovery process has been "survive and thrive."
The River Edge native has been spreading awareness through the burgundy brain aneurysm awareness ribbon, recently rocked by Paramus cheerleaders and tied to trees around town.
Paramus CrossFit gym Guerrilla Fitness donated all proceeds from Thursday evening’s class to the survivor, who had gone a few years back for a Spartan Race.
Petrula knows she’s lucky to have survived — but merely existing is not enough.
“If I live, why wouldn’t I be helping people?” she said.
“I had such amazing support and I want to be able to help somebody.”