Brenna began her freshmen year at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in September 2009. While out watching a meteor shower with fellow students in the early hours of November 17, she suddenly collapsed. ER doctors diagnosed her with a brain bleed and she was rushed into surgery. The bleed was caused by an AVM which is basically a malformation or tangle of veins at the back of her brain. A tennis-ball sized clot was removed and the AVM was clamped. Brenna has remained hospitalized since that date.