This year, 795,000 people in the United States will have a stroke. That’s someone every 40 seconds. In 2001, I was one of those people suffering an trans ischemic attack (mini stroke).
At age 35 I was living a dream life. I was married to my high school sweetheart Cynthia, with three children, Nick, Kailah and Haley, with our fourth child Sydney on the way. On a blustery cold January night in 2001, I suffered a TIA, also known as a mini stroke; which left me partially paralyzed on my right side.
To this day, I thank the medical professionals who saved my life, but as I thought about the path ahead, as the sole income earner for my household, I was devastated. Soon depression set in.
Realizing I had everything to gain, I decided to run for my life! I undertook a rigorous physical therapy regimen by training for and running the 25th Anniversary Chicago Marathon and the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica, on behalf of the American Stroke Association, raising more than $5,000 for Stroke Awareness and Research.
Today I am proud is to be an Ambassador for the American Heart Association's Power to End Stroke Team. You can read my story of recovery in my book "Running for My Life -- A Stroke Survivor's Story."
As a stroke survivor, I’m proud to stand with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association on World Stroke Day, Oct. 29, to raise awareness for this largely preventable, treatable and beatable disease.
Would you know what to do if you or someone you love had a stroke?
Please join me in teaching our family, friends and neighbors the F.A.S.T. way to learn the warning signs and fight stroke:
- F – Face drooping
- A – Arm weakness
- S – Speech difficulty
- T – Time to call 911
When you recognize a sign of stroke and call 911 immediately, people have a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for a clot-busting drug or medical devices.
Let’s come together on World Stroke Day to beat stroke.