STROKE VICTOR SOLUTION – Create a foundation to support a significant increase in privately funded research to conquer the after-effects of stroke.
The Stroke Research Foundation is dedicated to raising money to support Stoke Research for the purpose of improving stroke recovery outcomes. Having been there, I am particularly focused on the quality of the Stroke recovery from the perspective of after stroke lifestyle and the speed of the recovery. Past efforts have only scratched the surface.
The Foundation’s work will profoundly help many people, not only the survivors but their caregivers and those in their extended communities. Take it from me, when stroke hits, there is considerable “people collateral damage”.
Here are some uncomfortable Stroke facts for background!
Currently there are nearly 800,000 strokes occurring annually in the US with millions more people, who, like me, are living with the after-effects of earlier strokes. That makes stroke the fourth most common serious diagnosis after the likes of cancer and heart disease, and unfortunately the number one long term disabler.
Looking forward, as the projected baby-boomer demographics become a reality, our nation will be populated with a larger number of individuals 65 and older. It is not unreasonable to expect those incident numbers to climb to over one million new diagnoses annually. Likewise, the survivor figures will grow to eight to ten million. And these numbers are only for the United States.
Stroke’s perception as an elder disease, while partly true, does not tell the entire story, nor incidentally, should it matter. More than one fourth of new diagnoses are in people under 65, as I was. And today, as many of us know, 65 is the new 50! Many survivors are in their forties and fifties or younger. Surprising to many, children can also have strokes. I recently met a lovely woman whose baby had a stroke and ultimately passed away. An article “Coming Home” about a young adult stroke survivor and her parent’s caregiver issues was recently a cover story in the fall 2014 issue of Stroke Connection, the American Stroke Association magazine. And these are just a few!
The disease is highly complex in that there are many types of strokes. Furthermore, no two
strokes are alike and no two outcomes are the same, all of which has serious implications for stroke rehabilitation and recovery. It is a “bespoke” disease—interesting in that something “bespoke,” is differentiated, unique or custom-made and is typically associated with excellence–a custom-built car, a custom-fitted English suit. With stroke, it’s quite the opposite—“custom” means it is difficult, time consuming and often expensive to treat.
While there are many cardiologists and neurologists, many of whom treat other significant diseases of the brain and heart of which stroke is just one, there’s no such thing as a “stokeologist.” Actually, that’s my word for a medical or research professional whose sole focus is stroke. Considering that Stroke is among the top four killers, one might think that there would be a greater emphasis placed on better understanding and treating the disease.
What is missing then is a substantial body of healthcare clinicians and researchers, appropriate to the size of the problem and the number of new diagnoses, who are unwavering in their commitment to understand and cure the disease called stroke. This will take time, serious advocacy and increased funding of research. And it will take a shift in perception—from stroke victim to stroke victor!
For anyone who addresses and beats stroke, and anyone involved in helping others to beat stroke truly is a “Stroke Victor.” Let’s join together and conquer stroke once and for all.
The Stroke Research Foundation will play a leading and critical role in addressing this gaping need. Stroke survivors, their caregivers and communities need your help.
The Foundation needs YOUR help to serve the broad Stroke Community!
To help, please contact me at 239-249-9575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.