We at National Stroke Association and the thousands of people we interact with every year offer our sincere thanks.
Growing up, I never considered myself athletic. Truth be told, I am rather uncoordinated and not very good at most sports. In 2007, I began running 3 days a week to get in shape, and did a few local races - first a 5K, then farther and farther, running my first marathon in 2008. It was a brutally hot and humid day, but I was hooked! By the Fall of 2011 I was a full-fledged endurance junkie, having completing 9 marathons and training for my first Triathlon.
I completed the Triathlon on September 11, 2011. After the race, as I was preparing to leave, I felt dizzy and collapsed, falling face first into the ground, right in front of the race medical tent. They insisted I go to the Emergency Room to be checked out. I objected, saying that I was completely fine, just dehydrated. Thankfully, they won that argument! Once at the Emergency Room, I felt better, and sent the neurologist away insisting that I was perfectly fine.
Minutes later, I was suddenly not fine at all. In an instant I had the worst headache of my life - but only on the right side of my head. My right leg and arm were numb and I couldn't control them properly. And my eyesight was all wrong - everything looked like it was jumping up and down. I had no idea what was going on, and it was one of the most frightening moments of my life! At age 37, I was having a stroke caused by a torn blood vessel in the back of my neck, known as a Vertebral Artery Dissection.
I was extremely lucky to get medical attention within seconds, and I have been able to make a full recovery. I feel incredibly blessed!
I am proud to be running the ING New York City Marathon for the National Stroke Association, and grateful for the opportunity to help raise awareness against this widespread and dangerous disease. As a young (OK, youngish) active, healthy person, I never thought that I would have a stroke. But now I know it can happen to anyone. Please consider making a donation today to this worthy cause to help me reach my fundraising goal of $3,000.
If you would like, you can add your name and a short message to our Guest Book. Thank you.
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.