Brewerton Doris Connor died after complications from a brain aneurysm in the summer of 2003. Now, her daughter, Hope Bednarski, has made it her mission to memorialize her mother as well as raise awareness of this scary disorder. For the second year in a row, she’s organized the Doris A. Connor 5K Race/1 Mile Walk in her mom’s honor.
“My mom was a great person,” said Bednarski, of Cicero. “She became a single mom when my parents divorced as I entered high school. She did everything for me. She drove me back and forth from cheerleading and track practice, sat through hours and hours of football and basketball games I cheered at, track meets I competed in, karate classes until I earned my black belt and brought my friends and me back and forth to the mall and each other’s houses constantly. She was a registered nurse working full-time for Syracuse Developmental Center, and worked part-time jobs as a private nurse to help get me through college and grad school.”
Connor was dedicated to children, as well as her job — so much so that it was odd when she called in sick in late January of 2003. It was even stranger when she just didn’t show up the next day.
“A co-worker tried calling her, and there was no answer,” Bednarski said. “They immediately knew something was wrong and called my sister who was local. I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time. My sister got in to her apartment to find her completely out of it. She was brought to the hospital by an ambulance, and my sister was told shortly later by the neurosurgeon that she had a ruptured brain aneurysm and she was not going to make it.”
Connor’s condition improved slightly from that point. By the time Bednarski made it to Upstate Hospital from Atlanta, Connor was awake and talking.