Sunday, August 9, 2009

Strokes are not ageists

When my cousin Kathy was going through her divorce she was healthy, but under a tremendous amount of stress. Her doctor is still not sure if it was just the stress that caused it, but at 38 years old she had a stroke.

According to the American Stroke Association:
  • Stroke kills more than 143,000 people a year. That's about 1 of every 17 deaths. It's the No. 3 cause of death behind diseases of the heart and cancer.
  • On average, every 3 to 4 minutes someone dies of stroke.
  • Of every 5 deaths from stroke, 2 occur in men and 3 in women.
Kathy was left paralyzed on her left side for a week. After a year of physical therapy, daily blood thinners, and a diet with a limited amount of dense green vegetables she is healthy again.

It is important to know the warning signs of a stroke. A simple acronym developed by the National Stroke Association is F.A.S.T.:

Face: Check the person for any numbness or loss of muscle control.
Arm: Is one sagging or unable to be raised.
Speech: Is the person slurring or unable to recall simple words.
Time: How long has the person been experiencing the above symptoms.

As you know I am walking in the American Heart Association's 2009 Start! San Diego Heart Walk. With Americans paying about $68.9 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability the AHA has goals to increase awareness, scientific research, CPR education and improving treatment. I ask you to help support this organization's mission by making a donation. Every dollar makes a difference. If you are unable to give please tell your family and friends about this important cause or participate in a Start! Heart Walk near you.

I set my fund raising goal this year at $500. I am only $75 shy of reaching my goal. Help me shatter my goal by clicking here to donate.

TRAINING UPDATE: The cold I developed after BlogHer '09 developed into a pretty serious case of bronchitis. I was bed ridden and coughing for over a week. Thanks to antibiotics and inhalers I am almost at 100%. I will begin my 3 mile a day walks this week.


  1. That's really brilliant - yay for you for making a difference, and getting the word out with AHA! Also, sorry to hear you had bronchitis! Glad your feeling better now

  2. That is very scary. Thank you for sharing such enlightening info!!

  3. Lemme know if you need a walking partner! Birdie and Penny Lenny are nearby and up to the task!

  4. I read that strokes can sometimes be caused by the pressure of hair-washing bowls at the salon!
    So, make sure there's a towel under your neck, & don't let the neck get bent too far out of whack! :S