Lauree Ostrofsky stared down death to find her real life.
Now she’s helping others do the same.
Story by Brian P.J. Cronin
Photographed by dKol Photography
Where do you get the courage to change your life?
For Hyde Park native Lauree Ostrofsky, it came from a golf-ball-sized blob that showed up on an MRI in 2004. It was an acoustic neuroma, a brain tumor.
“I had that moment,” she recalls in her memoir, I’m scared & doing it anyway, “when I was going along fine, when life was as I expected. Until it wasn’t.”
It took three surgeries and a bout of meningitis on the side to remove the tumor, and months of recovery in and out of the hospital. It was the sort of experience you would not wish on your worst enemy. But for Ostrofsky, the ordeal made her realize that if she was going to have to fight this hard to get her life back, she was going to make the most of it.
That meant accepting that while her current life was good, it wasn’t good enough. Her career in public relations was fine, but that was it. Just fine. She didn’t see room to grow or be who she wanted to be. That meant having to make some painful choices. Then again, when you’ve already had a three-centimeter cancerous blob carved out of your brain, what is pain?