Doctor Gator News – After surviving a deadly injury physician, former cyclist still helping to heal others/ Traumatic brain injury doesn’t stop Cindy LaRoe, MD, from helping others through The Art of Medicine Foundation
When Michael Okun, MD ’96, and Cindy LaRoe, MD, met for dinner with their spouses in 2015, it was a chance for the two former roommates to catch up. They had lost touch since sharing an apartment while residents at UF Health Shands Hospital 20 years earlier.
Both could recall Okun’s habit of leaving empty pizza boxes stacked in the kitchen like a teetering house of cards. It is a memory LaRoe has held onto like a rare collector’s item because, unlike so many glimpses into her past, it didn’t vanish after she suffered a head injury in a cycling crash in 2011.
LaRoe was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and she no longer could practice internal medicine. She also was forced to give up her other life as a champion cyclist in the female 50-54 division.