HOUSTON, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kingwood Medical Center and The Joe Niekro Foundation are proud to present the third annual Knuckle Ball…A Pitch for Life. The annual event honors the beloved 13-year Houston Astros All-Star, Joe Niekro who died suddenly on October 27, 2006 from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Niekro's daughter, Natalie, created The Joe Niekro Foundation in his memory to raise funds for brain aneurysm research, treatment, awareness campaigns and support for aneurysm patients and their families.
"My dad was a truly giving person," said Natalie Niekro. "The Joe Niekro Foundation continues his philanthropic mission by helping to raise awareness about this devastating condition. Nothing is more satisfying than to know people are getting screened because of what they've learned on our website and through partners like Kingwood Medical Center. I know my dad would be so happy to know that together, we are saving lives."
"We are honored to partner and share a vision with The Joe Niekro Foundation, said Melinda Stephenson, CEO of Kingwood Medical Center. "Our team of Neurointensivists, Neuroradiologists and Neurosurgeons are providing the multiple levels of care needed to detect, prevent and treat brain aneurysms. Our partnership also helps fund programs to raise the level of our communities' awareness about prevention and help fund research, education and support where it is needed most."
A brain aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel in the brain that balloons and fills with blood. The bulging aneurysm can put pressure on a nerve, and in some cases, leak or rupture, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue. It is estimated that six million people in the United States have a brain aneurysm, and that 1 in 15 people will develop a brain aneurysm sometime in their life.
Although most brain aneurysms do not cause any symptoms, symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm often come on suddenly and include:
Brain Aneurysm Symptoms
Treatment at a hospital emergency room should be sought immediately if an aneurysm is suspected. Aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35-60 but can occur in children as well.
The exact cause of brain aneurysm is not known. Genetics and lifestyle play a role, but more research is needed to determine appropriate screening and treatment methods. Most people who suffer aneurysms are like Joe Niekro: They are healthy, have no symptoms of pain or indications that an aneurysm is developing.
This year, the festivities get started on Friday, April 27 at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar with First Pitch Friday, a Fence-Rattling-Good-Ole Country Music Charity Shindig starring Chuck Wicks, Keith Anderson and Trailer Choir! Cost is $50 at the door with all proceeds benefitting the Joe Niekro Foundation.
Then Saturday, April 28th, the party continues at Minute Maid Park for the 3rd annual Knuckle Ball…Pitch for Life Black Tie Gala. Joe Niekro's brother and MLB Hall of Famer, Phil Niekro, will serve as Master of Ceremonies and be joined by professional athletes from across the country, plus musical guests Chuck Wicks, Keith Anderson and Trailer Choir. Guests will enjoy silent and live auctions featuring exciting items including a one week Hawaiian getaway on the beautiful island of Kauai, a guided fishing trip by Lance Niekro and Dave Bergman in the Florida Everglades, a First Class Package to the 2012 Joe Niekro Fantasy Baseball Camp in Las Vegas, and much more.
"First Pitch Friday"—Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
Friday, April 27, 9 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
1031 E. 24th St. Houston, TX 77009
"Knuckle Ball—A Pitch for Life" Minute Maid Park
Saturday, April 28, 6:36 p.m.
501 Crawford Street, Houston, Texas 77002
For more information about The Joe Niekro Foundation and ticket information for the Knuckle Ball Gala, please visit www.joeniekrofoundation.org/knuckleball
For Media: Natalie Niekro, President and Founder of The Joe Niekro Foundation, Melinda Stephenson, CEO of Kingwood Medical Center, Neuroscience Physicians and Specialists, along with aneurysm survivors are available for interviews to share their stories of how important screening and knowledge is in the fight against brain aneurysms.
About Kingwood Medical Center
HCA affiliated Kingwood Medical Center is a 211-bed acute care facility comprised of 24-hour emergency services and an on-site emergency clinic: HealthOne Express Care Kingwood. It is home to the area's comprehensive cardiac care program and neurological program. The hospital is recognized by the state of Texas as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, is Joint Commission Accredited for Disease Specific Certification in Stroke, has an Accredited Sleep Disorder Center and offers a myriad of services to patients, including: Level II and III neonatal intensive care units, women's services, designated pediatric unit, surgical services, inpatient rehabilitation, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services on-site and at Atascocita Imaging. Kingwood Medical Center: Far Ahead, Close to Home. www.kingwoodmedical.com
SOURCE The Joe Niekro Foundation