About the Race

Veronica Constantine

Veronica Constantine, Brainy Day 5K Race Director

Welcome. If you’re new to the Brainy Day 5K, you might not know its history. If you have questions about the race or the research organization it supports, please email us.
In January 2007, the race director, Veronica Constantine was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – water on the brain. She was thirty years old and otherwise healthy. A severe headache, blurred vision and slurred speech were her symptoms. And they presented themselves very suddenly. A VP-shunt was installed a few days later and she went home the next day to supposedly lead a normal and full life.

However, like so many people with hydrocephalus, her recovery was not nearly so simple. She suffered from an intracranial hemorrhage and became much sicker than before the shunt surgery. As a result, Veronica returned to the hospital ICU where she spent two more weeks before she finally returned home to a much longer road to recovery than she ever imagined. For nearly three months she was unable to work or run and for nearly a month she was unable to hold her then 8-month old daughter. It was, as you can imagine, a very traumatic experience that has left its impact on her heart and lifestyle.

Today she leads a very full and rewarding life; never taking anything for granted. She believes life is a gift and she tries to respond to it with grace, courage and optimism. Because of her ordeal and the difficult recovery, she felt compelled to do something that could positively affect others with hydrocephalus in the future. Thus, in the summer of 2007, she hosted the First Brainy Day 5K race that supported Seeking Techniques Advancing Research in Shunts (STARS-kids). That fall a Walkathon event was held benefiting the same organization and for the next four years both events were held annually and raised over $40,000.

In 2011 Veronica trained for and completed the Grand Rapids Marathon (in 434:37 for those who just have to know) and more importantly without any complications to her shunt system. Due to the incredible commitment of time and energy that was required and the timing of the two events being so close together (just a week apart) the Walkathon was cancelled. It has since been absorbed into the Brainy Day 5K Run/Walk and we hope to see more of the walkathon participants out in support of the event this year. To date, these events have raised nearly $70,000. Our goal is to exceed $100,000 when we hit our 10th year in 2017. We are planning big and hope you can join us on this quest.

1 Comment