As one of 7 million American stroke survivors, I am thrilled to be running the ING New York City Marathon as part of the National Stroke Association Stroke Challenge Team.
My first experience with stroke was at age 17 when I experienced two minor strokes caused by meningitis. During those episodes, entire halves of my body became paralyzed and I was unable to think clearly or speak. The feelings of total confusion and panic are unforgettable.
More recently, my mother suffered a ruptured subarachnoid aneurysm, which required emergency brain surgery lasting over eight hours and 23 days of recovery in the ICU. Throughout her recovery, the threat of a significant stroke was constant and severe.
Both my mother and I are extremely fortunate to have recovered from our respective episodes completely and fully. But many are not as fortunate as we are-- in fact, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., taking lives every 4 minutes.
The National Stroke Association is the only national organization that focuses 100% of its efforts on stroke awareness, prevention, treatment and recovery.
I'm honored to run my first-ever marathon with the Stroke Challenge Team and I truly appreciate your support.