Katherine Wolf approaches the second-floor landing of a friend's Culver City home.

From on high, she sounds out a greeting in a strained but pronounced voice, before lightly descending the curved staircase to the living room.

Each move is aided by her husband, Jay, who is 27. He walks backwards, one step ahead, supporting Katherine's slight frame with every cautious stride.

Like most things in Katherine's life now, it is a slow but steady dance - and, by all accounts, a miraculous one, too.

A little more than a year ago, Katherine, then 26, collapsed in her family's Malibu apartment; She had suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke after an artereo-venous malformation, or AVM, ruptured in her right cerebellum and brain stem....