Neurology & Neurosurgery Patient Stories

People who've faced the emotional and physical challenges of a brain or nervous system diagnosis didn't do so alone. The Cedars-Sinai Neurology and Neurosurgery team supports patients every step of the way, from testing and treatment to rehabilitation and recovery. Learn more about their journey to better health at this nationally ranked hospital for neurological services.

Mark Odle reached the peak of his law enforcement career. Then an epilepsy diagnosis brought him to a low point in his life. Today, he's free of seizures and independent.

When Lisa Simmons woke up with the sniffles on a gray day in 2017, she wasn't alarmed. It was November in Washington. A cold was nothing unusual. A week later, she felt better. Then her nose started running again. 

In 2018 Sarah Bowe woke up with a tingling sensation throughout her lower body. What happened next resulted in a misdiagnosis of MS resulting instead in a rare and only recently identified neuroimmune disorder called MOG antibody-associated disease.

For most of his adult life, Austen Specht couldn't live alone. If he wanted to swim, he needed a buddy with him. He wasn't allowed to drive or spend one-on-one time with his young son. But a surprise diagnosis changed all of that. 

Gabriel Goldberg, 44, compares having a stroke to being eaten by a shark. He knew what was happening, but couldn't stop it or guess what part of his body would be attacked next. He says his Cedars-Sinai care team didn't just save his life. "They also saved my quality of life."

Albert Parisi has been a brain cancer survivor for 23 years. He's shared the lessons he's learned during his healing with hundreds, counting them as blessings from his brain tumor.

Six brain tumors and 37 years after his melanoma diagnosis, Scott Erdman is one of the longest-living survivors of metastatic brain cancer.

Bernie LeSage faced down one of the best tennis players of all time, and learned an important lesson. Being in the game matters more than winning. Now he's facing Parkinson's disease with the same tenacity.

Bobbie Poledouris found freedom from Parkinson's disease in running. When the 71-year-old grandmother laces up her running shoes and gets moving, she can finish a 5K faster than far younger competitors.

Coach Lance McCullah is using the same lessons he gives to his varsity football players to face ALS.

Mary Huffman sums up her philosophy for living with ALS simply. She's going to Stephen Hawking her way through it. For her, that means being her best every day, and finding a way to help someone else.

Tanner Martin is the luckiest unlucky kid. He was born with a very rare and usually fatal brain condition. With three surgeries before his 3rd birthday, he's overcome the odds.

When Natalia Belle Jacke was lying on the cold marble tile of her bathroom floor unable to move, the first thoughts she had were of her family.

When Beth Johnson stood up from working at her computer one beautiful October evening, she noticed "a kind of funny feeling" in the back of her neck. Five days later, the sensation had become an excruciating headache that came on whenever she tried to stand or sit upright.

Linda Berghoff believes the best prescription for Parkinson's disease is dancing.

Looking at Beth Oringher now, you would never suspect that, at one point, she couldn't lift a spoon to put food into her mouth or confidently pour a glass of lemonade.

Anyone who wants insight into artist Michelle Constantine just needs to look at her work. You'll find elaborate quilts shaped like F-16 fighter jets, glittery silkscreens, or collages that represent geography of Los Angeles. Look a little more, and you'll see paintings of syringes and representations of drugs such as prednisone.

May 18 should have been a regular day for Wenping Kuo, a 48-year-old vegetarian, who practices Buddhism, doesn't drink or smoke, and meditates daily. But an ischemic stroke changed her path.

Marc Bennett makes his living helping people find answers. As a clinical psychologist with his own private practice, he's helped adults and couples face down a variety of issues over the years.

For some patients with multiple sclerosis, the usual course of treatment is enough to manage the disease's symptoms. Deven Townsel, however, needed something with a little more kick.