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​In MaryMartha's Own Words

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MaryMartha Ford, a patient of Dr. Robert Friedlander, who was treated for Chiari malformation through Chiari decompression surgery recently let us know how she's doing.


I looked at the calendar today and realized I am two months shy of my two year post-surgery mark and thought I would send you a note to let you know how I've been.

I have lost 30 pounds since January and feel amazing! I began to train for a 5K and have run two races this year. I plan to run two more by the end of the year (I guess you can call me an athlete now). I am also in grad school at Northeastern University and am pursuing a Master of Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. I will finish up next spring.

Do you remember my brother Billy from NYC? Well, he won a Tony Award for 'Best Actor in a Musical' for the Cyndi Lauper musical: Kinky Boots. I joined him at the Tony Awards in NYC and had a blast!

You'll be happy to know that I haven't had a 'true' headache in a year and my Chiari symptoms are almost non-existent. Some days are better than others, but I have more good days than bad days. I choose not to get down in the dumps and have a 'woe is me' mentality. I am still the handful of personality you met two years ago and am enjoying each day of my life!

I will always be grateful for you, Dr. Friedlander, and the wonderful doctors and nurses on your team.

I hope all is well with you and everyone in Neurosurgery. Take care.




Our patient stories profile a number of patients who have had minimally invasive brain surgery at UPMC. Although everyone's care experience is unique, we hope that sharing these stories will help other prospective patients and their families better understand these procedures and their potential benefits.

MaryMartha's treatment and results may not be representative of all similar cases.