Late TV Reporter’s Family Raising Awareness For Brain Aneurysms

The family of a WABC Reporter who died this year of a ruptured brain aneurysm has started a foundation and fundraiser in her memory.

“Lisa and I shared a very special and unconditional love for one another and for our boys,” said Todd Crawford, who is taking steps to honor his wife’s memory and to help others. “She is my driving force and motive behind my efforts.”

WABC Reporter Lisa Colagrossi was in a news van when her brain aneurysm ruptured in March. She was just 49 years old.

In retrospect, there were warning signs.

“As soon as she walked through the door she would say, ‘I’ve got the worst headache of my life,'” Crawford said. “After about three weeks of saying that I asked her, ‘Don’t you think that we should go get that checked?’ She dismissed it and attributed it to lack of sleep and stress. We didn’t know anything about brain aneurysms.”

Crawford has started the Lisa Colagrassi Foundation to raise awareness and money for research.

“Brain aneurysms are just as big as breast cancer and ALS,” Crawford said. “Six million people in the country are walking around with an unruptured brain aneurysm. There are 30- to 40,000 ruptures a year, almost 50 percent of those ruptures are fatal.”

A check-up and a scan can detect an aneurysm. Crawford said anyone with debilitating headaches, pain behind the eyes, blurred vision, numbness or tingling should get checked.

“This is a disease, it isn’t on the map in this country, it’s a silent killer,” he said.

This month, the foundation kicked off “The Lucky 7 Challenge” fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise $7 million over a seven-month period ending on March 19, 2016.