Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month and a Special Donation

September is brain aneurysm awareness month, and we have a special story to share about two families giving back to Riley Hospital for Children to honor the lives of their children.

Tommy’s Tourney began in 2015 to raise awareness about the impact of brain aneurysms.  Tommy’s Tourney was created by the family of young Tommy Nowell Parker, who sadly passed away from an undetected brain aneurysm at the age of 5.  Tommy was a vibrant and happy child who loved his family and his Superheroes!tommys-tourney

In 2016, Tommy’s family met the family of Ashley Ann Swart, a bright, beautiful, and well-like young woman who passed away from a brain aneurysm at the age of 20.  Together, in sharing their stories, both families strongly felt a need to raise awareness for brain aneurysm and screening for early detection.

Brain aneurysms can be similar to heart attacks.  Just like a person may have no warning of an impending heart attack, there almost is never a warming that a brain aneurysm is about to rupture.  Fortunately, through imaging screening techniques, individuals at high risk of harboring a brain aneurysm can be identified easily with non-invasive imaging tests.

Both families sought a charity to receive the proceeds of their work, and the Riley Cheer Guild was honored to be chosen to receive its largest recorded Lego donation to date!

These Legos are being distributed from the Riley Cheer Guild Toy Room by Riley staff members.  These items are used for patients who are undergoing treatment for a wide variety of diagnoses.  These items help pass the time while waiting for test results and recovering from surgery. They allow families to connect with each other and help children feel safe in the hospital environment.

The Riley Cheer Guild wishes to thank the Clark and Swart families for their work to raise these funds for children currently undergoing treatment and to raise awareness about brain aneurysms.  For more information about brain aneurysm signs and symptoms, please visit  For more information about the Riley Cheer Guild and how you can help to support Riley kids, please visit


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