Second chance at life proves viable for Morrison resident Cheryl Roberts

Release Number: 208108

Not many people get second chances, but for Morrison resident Cheryl Roberts, Aerospace Testing Alliance Operations Center second shift lead, she got exactly that.

In December 2006 Roberts was driving home, she parked the car and attempted to get out but couldn't feel the right side of her body to even lift her leg out of the seat.

Immediately she knew something wasn't right so she went to the doctor only to find she had an aneurism on her brain which caused her to have two small strokes.

Most people do not realize they have an aneurism before it's too late. The doctor told her without surgery she would not make it.

The following month she had major brain surgery to remove the aneurism. She stayed out of work for only seven to eight weeks.

"I think the reason I was recommended for this story is because most people know that not much will keep me out of work," she laughed.

Roberts' positive outlook on life has helped her through many situations and has even allowed room for comedy. She jokingly compares her situation to an old Timex commercial: "I take a lickin' and keep on tickin.'"

She says people have always teased her about being unlucky, but she feels if it wasn't for the bad luck she may not be here today.

"I figured I saved up all my luck over the years for this one time," she said jokingly. "All those instances where I walked around with a little black cloud over my head, I used it all up with this."

But on a more serious note, Roberts realizes that had the strokes not happened the doctors probably would not have found the aneurism.

"I do feel like that I got a second chance and I want to make every day count," she explained. "This brought me face to face with it and because of my strong faith I feel like that I had some more things I was supposed to do."

Even though it doesn't really seem to bother her now, Roberts admitted right after she got back to work she was worried it would happen again.

"At first starting to function on the job was not a challenge," she explained. "What was challenging was the fright that it would happen again. It took time me to settle down and quit watching for symptoms that it would happen again."

Roberts considers working at the Operations Center her third job at AEDC. When she first came out here in the early 1990s she worked in Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory as an administrative assistant. She left a few years and then came back in work control and then applied for her recent job in the Operations Center. There, she and the second shift staff, respond and notify officials on any type of situation, whether emergency or routine.

"Most of my remaining family was in this area and they were getting older," she said. "I felt a responsibility to come back and take care of them."

Roberts and her husband hoped one day to have a family of their own and soon decided to take in a foster child.

"I have never been a parent," she said. "I had always wished I had children and we did the foster care training the year before and we were waiting on a child to come along."

The Roberts had their first experience with a 17-year-old girl named Brittany.

"This was my first experience at being a parent," she replied. "I sometimes felt like I missed by calling because kids and animals have always been drawn to me."

One of their goals for Brittany or any other foster child the Roberts may take in is to help them become self-sufficient in society.

"Right now our focus is getting her to function by herself," she explained. "We want her to be able to pay her bills, be able to function as an adult and be an upright, moral person."