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When students graduate this Spring I will be among them. I am 33-years old, a stroke survivor, and will be receiving my Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I work full time as the Director of Legislative Affairs at a law firm, advocating on behalf of clients' interests. I am active in the community through a gubernatorial appointment to the Nevada Commission on Post-Secondary Education and as a board member of St. Jude's Ranch for Children, which provides a homelike environment for abused, abandoned and neglected children. Additionally, I have recently completed my doctoral studies and stay physically active, having completed four marathons. Initially following my diagnosis that all changed. I had an ischemic stroke in September 2009, at 31 years old. It was difficult to walk, work or study. I was overcome with extreme exhausting from the simplest of tasks. I returned to work and my studies as my skills improved. I am elated to have finished my doctoral studies in spite of my recent stroke related obstacles. Has my life been affected by stroke? Yes. However, constructively it's connected me with survivors I may have otherwise not met. I visit recently diagnosed stroke patients in the hospital to offer advice and encouragement. I educate people that a stroke can affect anyone regardless of their age, and try to connect youth survivors together to offer support. In fact, the number of stroke patients under 45-years old is rising. Therefore, I hope you will consider me for the campaign so people are informed that a stroke can affect anyone, at any age.


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National Stroke Association

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