Cindy LaRoe believes everything happens for a reason, even the traumatic brain injury she sustained in a cycling accident in 2011. The crash left her with memory loss, and she had difficulty concentrating. Meanwhile, her eyes played tricks on her, leaving her confused about what she was really seeing. The brain injury ended her career as a Lake County (Fla.) internist, and her days of racing as a championship-caliber cyclist were over.
But out of that devastating accident came inspiration that fused Cindy’s passion as a doctor with her talents as a painter. Cindy and her husband, Ken LaRoe, founder and chairman of Orlando-based First GREEN Bank and CEO of First GREEN Bancorp holding company, created the Art of Medicine as a philanthropy thatsupports brain injury research and treatment. In its inaugural black-tie gala in 2015, AoM raised $168,000, with some of the funds raised through auctions of paintings by Orlando-area physicians, including Cindy.