PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — She is best known as a hard working, powerhouse personal financial correspondent, but a health scare two years ago changed her life.
“It was busy, it was just very, very busy, and I don’t think we realize how much stress can relate to so many different health issues,” says Pittsburgh native Sharon Epperson, a CNBC financial correspondent.
She may spend a lot of time talking about money, but her most important tip is about your health.
“It’s really important to take care of your health, because that is your greatest financial asset, your ability to make money,” she says.
Epperson’s calling is now bigger than money or power.
“Just being here is such a blessing,” she says.
Two years ago today, while trying to juggle work and family, the effervescent journalist suffered a traumatic brain aneurysm while exercising.
“I stood up from a stretch, and I had the worst sensation I’ve ever had in my life, that is the warning sign,” she said. “The worst headache of my life, stiff neck, and at that time, I also had nausea and vomiting.”
Her life expectancy was 50 percent, and her CT scan showed bleeding in her brain.
But now, two years later, and after a long road to recovery, Epperson is working to spread an important message.
She was this year’s guest speaker at the Brain Aneurysm Foundation Symposium in Pittsburgh. Neurosurgeons are calling for lifesaving research for saliva and blood testing pre-screens.
One in 50 people could be walking around with an aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured, like Epperson’s did.
“I thought I was mindful, at least I thought about doing these things as regularly as possible,” she said.
Now, Epperson is hoping to raise awareness about the lesser known medical condition afflicting 30,000 each year, to which 40 percent will die.
She did stay away from the big risk factors.
“We do know that probably cigarette smokers and long-standing high blood pressure are the two modifiable culprits,” said Dr. Brian Jankowitz, an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at UPMC.
The other risk factors, Epperson did have, but in her Point Breeze family, no one put it together.
“It’s very likely that you may have one, if you have three or more family members, and I have three, that had brain hemorrhages,” Epperson said.
For more information on the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, visit: https://www.bafound.org/