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Headquartered and Incorporated in Scottsdale, AZ, the Joe Niekro Foundation provides patient services and education across the US, as well as funds critical research through our JNF Grant and our localized grants in the Phoenix and Houston areas. The organization is the “brain child” of Natalie Niekro (daughter of Joe). Joe Niekro was a twenty-two year veteran of professional baseball who suddenly lost his life from a cerebral brain aneurysm in October 2006. The astonishing lack of public awareness and under-support of research led to the launch of a crusade to educate and encourage awareness about brain aneurysms and other cerebral disorders.
The Joe Niekro Foundation™ is committed to supporting patients and families, research, treatment and awareness of Brain Aneurysms, AVMs and Hemorrhagic Strokes. We provide education on the risk factors, causes and treatments of these conditions, while funding the advancement of neurological research.
The following staggering statistics validate the critical need for support, awareness and research funding:
- There are currently 6 million people in the US who have an unruptured brain aneurysm
- Every 18 minutes an aneurysm ruptures
- 50% of ruptured aneurysm patients will die instantly
- Of the remaining 50%, half will suffer a delayed death and remaining survivors will likely suffer severe brain deficits
- Brain aneurysms are most prevalent between the ages 35-60, but occur in 3 out of 10 children as well.
- Women, more than men, are documented to suffer from brain aneurysms at a ratio of 3:2.
- As many as 1 in 15 people will develop a brain aneurysm or AVM
- The average age of an AVM rupture is 17 years old
- More than 50% of people with an AVM will have an intracranial hemorrhage
- Hemorrhagic Strokes account for 15% of all strokes (approximately 120,000 each year)
- Hemorrhagic Strokes are responsible for more than 30% of all stroke deaths
Although the JNF is a national organization, we strive to give the vitally needed support through locally led support groups. A strong support network is an important part of adjusting to living as a Brain Aneurysm, Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) or Hemorrhagic Stroke survivor, or being a caregiver to one of these patients.
Social support is essential to the recovery process because social isolation can greatly reduce patient recovery and outcomes after suffering any one of these conditions. Many hospitals just are not equipped to offer patients and families ongoing support and rehabilitation post discharge. It is our goal to help bridge the gap and encourage collaboration to provide a comprehensive support program for survivors and their families. JNF Support Groups provide a safe haven for patients, families, friends and caregivers to be among others in similar situations where they can share their fears, challenges, successes and failures in an atmosphere where they are loved and accepted by all.
The Joe Niekro Foundation™ will continue the fight but we need supporters such as you to win. We invite you to become a part of our team, a team fighting each and every day to make a difference in the lives of thousands affected by these fatal conditions. We hope you will ride this journey with us as we continue to take The Joe Niekro Foundation™ global.
The Joe Niekro Foundation
26780 N. 77th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85266
Natalie Niekro, Founder
Natalie Niekro, the daughter of Joe, is the founder of The Joe Niekro Foundation™. Her passion for the cause began when she unexpectedly lost her father to a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2006. It was then that she knew she had to do something to bring awareness to this devastating condition and help the patients and families who are struggling just as she was. An independent successful entrepreneur of two companies, Natalie made the decision to start another venture…one that would soon change her life forever. This was the beginning to the greatest endeavor of her life. Whether you are a patient, family member, friend or caregiver, WE ARE ALL SURVIVORS and that is the attitude Natalie lives by each and every day!
Keeping her father’s legacy alive is part of the magic that makes this foundation not only successful, but undeniably unique. With a nationwide support network of nearly 20,000 survivors, families and caregivers, and alignments with some of the greatest doctors and hospitals in the country, The Joe Niekro Foundation is leading the way for groundbreaking discoveries in neurological research, while providing a safe haven for patients and their families in their recovery.
Natalie’s passion for patients is evident in her everyday life and career path. Not only is she the spokesperson for the foundation, but is also the Director of Patient Focused Programs for Penumbra, Inc. a global healthcare company focused on interventional therapies. Penumbra designs, develops, manufactures and markets devices that address challenging medical conditions and significant clinical needs across two major markets, neuro and peripheral vascular. Her emphasis in the neurological arena has given her the platform to be the voice for patients and families across the globe.
In 2017, Natalie became a survivor herself when she was diagnosed with two brain aneurysms. Now walking the difficult road as a patient, Natalie knows first hand the importance of a strong support network and is eternally grateful for the community that has rallied her during this process.
Natalie is an advertising and psychology double major graduate of Florida Southern College. She and her husband Luke reside in Scottsdale, AZ and are the proud parents of a four year old son, Canyon.
Connect with Us
- Subscribe to our Knuckle-Up Newsletter
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Follow us on Twitter
- Follow us on Instagram
- Join our Online Aneurysm/AVM Support Group
- Join our Online Parents Support Group
- Join our Online Young Adult Survivor’s Support Group
- Join our Online Aneurysm/AVM Caregivers Support Group
- Join our Online Honoring the Taken Support Group
- Support Group Locations