continued “She was very active, worked out at the gym, ate healthy and walked several miles a day,” Bednarski said.
But Connor’s good health, sadly, did her no good in the end. Two weeks after her aneurysm ruptured, doctors decided to operate. The surgery caused a series of strokes.
“After that she was never the same.” Bednarski said. “She spent several months in different rehab facilities, but she was never my mom again.”
Connor passed away on June 21, 2003, at the age of 59, nearly five months after the aneurysm ruptured and two weeks before Bednarski’s wedding.
“Thank God for my husband,” Bednarski said. “He knew what he was doing putting the two of us together. I could not have made it through that very difficult time without him.”
Indeed, Bednarski said she is grateful for the support of her husband, as well as family, friends and the many businesses who supported last year’s walk. This year’s event will take place at 9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. It will also include a half-mile kids’ fun run with a registration fee of $10, as well as a wellness fair.
“Local health- and fitness-related businesses will have a ‘team’ at the event and also set up an informational table for participants to browse,” Bednarski said.
Last year’s walk raised about $5,000. Bednarski hopes to raise even more this year to benefit The Brain Aneurysm Foundation and to let others who take part in the Doris A. Connor Memorial 5K Race/1 Mile Walk can also get to know what a kind, loving woman her mother was.
“She was an outstanding friend to many and was always there to help others,” Bednarski said. “She was a very positive person, and that is something I always remember about her. She always encouraged me to work hard and never give up.”
Participants in the walk/run can preregister at bafound.donorpages.com/DorisConnor13/ through Sept. 20 for $20; registration includes a T-shirt. Registration is also open the day of the race at 8 a.m. at Oneida Shores for $25. Top male and female finishers will receive prizes, as will random finishers. All participants in the kids’ fun run will receive ribbons. Snacks and refreshments will be provided for the racers, and a post-race celebration will be held at Cooper’s Landing in Cicero (7459 Murray Drive, off of Lakeshore Road) with free appetizers and drink specials for all participants.
For more information, email RunForDoris@yahoo.com.