Fargo couple learns what to be thankful for after scary diagnosis

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:50 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 7:14 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s that time of year again, where we fill our plates, stomachs and hearts with what we’re most thankful for.

And for Sheila Foley, it’s been an important question, as she was diagnosed with a rare disease called Moyamoya, which restricts blood flow at the base of her brain, leading to high chances for strokes and mini-strokes.

“It was, it was a shock,” said Sheila Foley. “It was shock, and it’s hard to believe. It’s still hard to believe.”

For now, Sheila keeps busy baking goods.

“You’re gonna be known as the cookie woman,” laughed Curt Foley, Sheila’s husband.

“The cookie woman,” chuckled Sheila Foley. “It’s all the nervous energy.”

And, debatably, beating her husband Curt at dominoes. But for the road ahead, Sheila is looking at two brain surgeries, and an unrelated open-heart surgery, all in the coming weeks. And while the diagnosis and operations may change what’s on their minds, it hasn’t changed what’s in their hearts.

“Everything changes and you look at everything differently,” said Sheila Foley. “I don’t know what I would do without him [Curt]. It’s a really scary diagnosis.”

“I will wake up in the middle of the night and reach over to Sheila and just know how thankful and how lucky I am to have her,” said Curt Foley.

It’s strange, but sometime the biggest shocks in life reveal to us what’s most important in it.

“Everything,” said Sheila Foley. “I’m thankful for all my doctors, the family that we have, it’s a really big deal.”

“We really do have a lot to be thankful for,” said Curt Foley. “We really do. I’ve had a friend reach out to me that I haven’t’ spoken with in 35 years. It makes you know that you’re not alone. We’re so thankful for everybody that has come out. Happy thanksgiving.”

Since her diagnosis, Sheila has been unable to work or drive. If you want to help out, you can check out the Lend a Hand Up and GoFundMe pages.