We at National Stroke Association and the thousands of people we interact with every year offer our sincere thanks.
Too many people who I care about and love have lived with devastating effects of stroke. On May 12, 2012, we lost Cunningham to a massive stroke. To most he was known as "Mouse", and to my family, he was known as "Ham". I'm running this marathon to honor the person he was, the service he provided throughout his life to his community, his memory, and all that he stood for. He was a longtime member of the Lockport Volunteer Fire Department, and was a retired deputy with the Lafourche parish police department. I am also running this race in honor of Peggy "Peppie", my godmother, who for almost 7 years, cared for him following the debiliting effects of his first stroke. She is my biggest hero. She recently reminded me, that on the day of the marathon, November 4, 2012, will mark the 7 year anniversary of Mouse's first stroke. I've seen firsthand the effects of stroke on other members of my own family, both alive and deceased. In addition to the loss of independence a loved one goes through, caring for a stroke survivor can be an extreme burden if unprepared. Seeing a loved one lose ability to perform their basic wants and needs can be a difficult transition for many. And it was for me. So, I'm running for both Mouse and Peggy, better known to me as Ham and Peppie. I'm also running for each and every patient who I've had the privilege of working with and continue to learn from.
WHY THE NATIONAL STROKE ASSOCIATION (NSA)
So why support the National Stroke Association? I'll give you a few reasons: 1-Many strokes can be prevented. And the NSA supports raising public awareness on identifying risks, and ways to reduce the risks associated with stroke. 2-Early treatment can minimize the devastating effects of stroke. The NSA works at promoting and educating on signs and symptoms of stroke onset. 3-Effective rehabilitation strategies for stroke and brain recovery are constantly being investigated. What was considered standard and effective rehab for stroke survivors 10 and 15 years ago is now being seriously reconsidered. The NSA directly supports these research efforts. Stroke recovery is not hopeless, but it can be complicated. And for me, this run isn't about giving false hope. It's about helping to expand awareness, to minimize risks, and to maximize any stroke survivors access and resources for the best recovery possible.
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. Thank you for joining us to try and stop this devastating disease.