Raising Awareness For Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)

I recently had the pleasure of communicating with Anne Marie Lavallee. She’s a young woman who’s been put in an incredibly difficult situation. She’s dealing with it in a remarkably courageous way.

Anne Marie has a condition known as AVM. Before speaking with her, I’d never heard of it. She was kind enough to send me some information that I’d love to share with you. Instead of trying to re-write complicated medical text, I’ll share the definition I received from her. This information comes from StrokeAssociation.org.

What is Arteriovenous Malformatiom (AVM)?

image of avm formation in brain in simple diagram form

Normally, arteries carry blood containing oxygen from the heart to the brain, and veins carry blood with less oxygen away from the brain and back to the heart. When an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) occurs, a tangle of blood vessels in the brain or on its surface bypasses normal brain tissue and directly diverts blood from the arteries to the veins. Brain AVM’s occur in less than 1 percent of the general population. It’s estimated that one in 200-500 people may have an AVM.

Her Personal Story

The above medical definition is hard to truly grasp. It doesn’t really show the human-side of this condition. Anne Marie was gracious enough to share her personal story. This is her fight with AVM, in her own words:

I was diagnosed with an AVM in the summer of 2013. I had 3 brain bleeds. My neurosurgeon decided to do surgery and remove the AVM on Jan. 15th, 2016. It was an 11.5 hr surgery. When the surgery was over, they put me in an induced coma. I spent 2 months on a feeding tube and then someone had to feed me. I couldn’t move any part of my body. I spent 6 months in the hospital. Now I am out and eating on my own. I still have weakness on my right side. I have personal support workers helping me with my personal care and I am currently wheelchair bound. I am making improvements every day. I have to thank Amina and Jannah the most for never leaving my side. My faith is what is getting me through this.

Anne Marie’s personal story is hard to read. She’s been through so much, and at such a young age. She was only 30 when she had her surgery in January of this year. But how she’s responding to her health setbacks must be read and shared. Fighting back with personal strength and unflinching faith, she’s an example for us all.

The AVM Awareness Wristband

Anne Marie decided to not only fight for herself, but to help raise awareness for this issue so that she might help others, too. She’s designed several different wristbands with us, all with the aim of raising awareness for AVM.

Here’s one of the wristbands Anne Marie designed with us:

dual layer wristband supporting avm awareness

We’re excited and grateful for the opportunity to help Anne Marie spread awareness for AVM through wristband projects like this one. If you’d like to learn more about this condition and how you can help, here are some great resource links:

If you’d like your personal cause, organization or brand highlighted on our blog, Get In Touch. It’s completely free, no strings attached. We’re just looking to help spread the good word on behalf of our customers and readers.