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Two Teens Come Together Over Brain Surgery

Having surgery for just about anything is pretty scary. But brain surgery? That’s really intense. So when two high school students (from the same Orange County, Calif. school!) realized they’d both had brain surgery under the same surgeon, they linked up to share stories and find common ground.

Sophomore Colby Baron, 16, underwent emergency brain surgery three months ago. Cassie Vaglienty, also 16, had the surgery three years ago. She found out about Baron’s surgery and recovery through photos on his Instagram account and decided to reach out. “I just wanted to be there and tell him everything is going to be OK,” Vaglienty told ABC News.

“I kept thinking I have this extremely intelligent straight-A honor student that may be in special need classes,” said Jennifer Baron, Colby’s mother. “It was very scary.” Baron didn’t speak normally for years, but found out as he got older that he had a congenital condition involving abnormal blood vessels in the brain. Vaglienty underwent surgery after suffering a stroke after soccer practice. Both have made a full recovery.

Before the surgery, the teens only knew each other in passing at school. “When he came back, I just gave him a hug,” Vaglienty said.

“We would talk about what happened and it was good to just have someone to connect with because there really wasn’t anyone else that I knew that had had something like this,” Baron added.

The sweet part? They both love soccer, so Vaglienty used the sport as a theme on a poster she created to ask Baron to the winter formal. “Would you please assist me in my goal of winter formal. Did I score or is it a red card?” the poster said.

Baron replied with “Yes!” written on a soccer ball and a red card that said, “I’d rather be dead than give you a red!”


Have you ever formed a bond with an unlikely friend because of shared circumstances? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

Image: Thinkstock.com


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  1. GodsGirl213

    Posted by GodsGirl213 on February 5, 2013 at 18:31

    That is beautiful I hope i find a friend or friends like that

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by Sarahann on February 5, 2013 at 10:17

    This is amazing! I absolutely love their story


    Posted by BFFofGOD4EVER on February 3, 2013 at 15:01

    This is so sweet! ♥ Such an inspirational story.

  4. snthbt

    Posted by snthbt on February 3, 2013 at 14:21

    That is such a wonderful story!

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by makaylarae on February 2, 2013 at 12:23

    Aww! Adorable!

  6. Jennmel

    Posted by Jennmel on February 1, 2013 at 19:37


  7. Soccer42

    Posted by Soccer42 on February 1, 2013 at 14:41

    so sweet! and being a soccer player i can honestly say that is the best way to ask someone to a dance.

  8. BonitaGirl

    Posted by BonitaGirl on January 31, 2013 at 13:47

    Me and someone who is now like a sister to me connected because we both suffer from depression and self harm and we both had a rough child hood

    • Kyla

      Posted by Kyla on January 31, 2013 at 16:02

      Hope you’re doing better girly! 🙂

  9. PolkaDot

    Posted by PolkaDot on January 31, 2013 at 12:23

    that is so sweet and an amazing story!

  10. EmilyRW

    Posted by EmilyRW on January 31, 2013 at 10:08

    Awww! So sweet!

  11. bethluvstheafters

    Posted by bethluvstheafters on January 30, 2013 at 10:20

    Oh my gosh that is so sweet!