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It seemed like just another evening run

It seemed like just another evening run

August 12th, 2015, seemed like just an average night. But when I went for a normal distance training run, it was transformed into something that changed my life forever.

While out on my evening run, I suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. I was rushed by ambulance to the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center emergency room. Through the work of the hospital staff, the excellent doctors and nurses, I am miraculously still here today.

The months that followed featured a few surgeries and a ton of testing. Throughout the entire process, the one constant was the Cardiac Electrophysiology department at Illinois Masonic, specifically Dr. Mansour Razminia and his team. They treated me like family, not just another patient. They were so helpful, supportive and compassionate, even when they did not need to be.

As a thank you and a tribute to the event that brought us together, I decided to raise money for their initiatives and research by running as part of the 2016 Advocate’s “Inspired to Run” Chicago Marathon team. All my fundraising efforts are going to the Cardiac Electrophysiology department.

I have always been a bit of a unique individual that has liked to conquer things that once defeated me. The chance to combine my enthusiasm for running with fundraising for the organization and team that helped me return to my passion motivated me to join the charity team. Add to it the fact that I can run a marathon to honor them, when running a long distance is when the sudden cardiac arrest happened, and it seems like the perfect fit. It almost feels like it must be fate.

Dr. Razminia and his team’s willingness to make an investment in me the person, not just me the patient, was something that truly made going through this entire medical journey manageable. From assisting me with recommendations for other doctors to being on a first name basis with the entire office staff, the Cardiac Electrophysiology department truly became my second family.

I cannot thank their team enough for what they have done for my family and me. They gave me a second chance at life. This October, I look forward to honoring them and contributing in the best way I see fit.

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Brett Strebel
Brett Strebel