Mark McEwen Honored by Drake Center and National Stroke Association

Stroke Survivor and 20-year TV News Veteran Receives 2009 Drake Center Diamond Award

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CINCINNATI—On Thursday, May 14, 2009, two of the nation’s leaders in stroke advocacy Drake Center and National Stroke Association came together for one day of stroke education for survivors and caregivers and to raise money for stroke research and programming at Drake, the region's leader in specialized and rehabilitative care.

Mark McEwen, stroke survivor and former weatherman on CBS’ “The Early Show,” took the stage at Drake Center’s life after stroke community forum and dinner, speaking on behalf of the more than 795,000 Americans who experience a stroke each year. National Stroke Association CEO, James Baranski, delivered the keynote address at the luncheon and workshop to a standing-room only crowd, discussing stroke healing, recovery and research. He also attended the evening community forum and dinner to hear McEwen discuss his rehabilitation and recovery after his 2005 stroke. McEwen was featured in the November/December 2006 issue of National Stroke Association’s StrokeSmart™ magazine, a bi-monthly publication that is free of charge to anyone living within the United States.

McEwen was in Cincinnati to raise funds for Drake Center, the region’s leader in helping stroke survivors reclaim their lives. More than 300 people attended the event with proceeds going to stroke education, research and programming at Drake.

McEwen was loving life, successful both professionally and personally, when he suffered a massive stroke in November 2005. McEwen was traveling in Washington D.C. when he experienced symptoms that led him to a hospital where he was misdiagnosed with the flu and discharged. Unaware that he had suffered a minor stroke, McEwen flew home to Orlando, Fla. two days later. On the plane, he suffered a second, massive stroke that nearly took his life and began a long struggle through rehabilitation and recovery. He chronicled this journey in his memoir “Change in the Weather: Life After Stroke,” and became a voice for stroke survivors and an important advocate for stroke awareness.
In recognition of his efforts to increase knowledge about stroke, Drake Center honored McEwen with their annual Diamond Award. Former Drake nurse Chris Wright also was honored at the event with the Spirit of Drake Award for her involvement in stroke survivor care at Drake. She founded the Stroke Survivor Support Group and has facilitated it for more than seven years.
 2009 Diamond Award:  Given to Mark McEwen, this annual award recognizes an individual or entity involved in advocacy, leadership, achievement and philanthropy to make a significant difference in the lives of Drake Center patients and/or the Drake community.  Mr. McEwen not only exemplifies these achievements, but has shown courageous leadership and advocacy while on his own path to stroke recovery.

2009 Spirit of Drake Award:  Given to former Drake nurse Chris Wright, this annual award honors an individual or entity who has shown courage, character, perseverance and vision, and who has served as a source of inspiration for patients and families of the Drake Center. Chris Wright has provided courageous support and advocacy for the treatment and recovery of stroke patients at Drake by facilitating the Stroke Survivor Support Group. Her passion for educating and supporting stroke survivors and caregivers is evident in her seven-year commitment to the group.

National Stroke Association is the only national non-profit dedicating 100% of its resources to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation issues surrounding stroke. For more information, contact National Stroke Association at 1-800-STROKES or visit

Drake Center is the leading provider of specialized medical and rehabilitative care in the region, offering a complete range of inpatient and outpatient services including long-term acute care (medically complex and rehabilitation), transitional skilled nursing, assisted living and various outpatient and wellness services. For more information, visit or call 513-418-2500.


Contact: Taryn Fort
Programs Marketing and Communications Director


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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.