Stroke Victor Bob Mandell Attends Canadian Stroke Congress as US Survivor Representative

I, with nearly 900 others attended the 6th Canadian Stroke Congress in Toronto held from September 17-19th. In my case I had been invited to be a media person representing US survivors. An impressive effort devoted to Stroke Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation was clearly visible.

I was taken by the number of people devoting their lives to the various facets of stroke and stroke recovery in Canada. Besides Canadians, I met American’s who were presenting at the Congress, many of whom indicated that stroke seemed to be more fully covered and organized in Canada than in the US. That has certainly been my impression since attending the 2014 Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery meeting in Ottawa.

Bob at Canadian Stroke Congress - 2015

Bob at Canadian Stroke Congress – 2015

So what areas in stroke did the Congress cover?

  • The latest advances and innovations in stroke prevention, acute management, rehabilitation, stroke systems, long term recovery and basic science;
  • Approaches to stroke care, including systems and discussions of their application in practice;
  • Discussions and presentations regarding evidence based research and best practices.

There were well over 100 research posters on display in the large convention meeting room which provided a convenient place to network. Many of the posters were prepared and manned by graduate students as part of their educational efforts. Others were reports of research studies in progress or completed which the research teams wished to report to the Congress attendees.

And of course there were vendors of pharmaceuticals, adaptive equipment and interestingly some of what I called call lifestyle items. The latter were, for example, bean growers who indicated the beans were important components in healthy eating to reduce stroke risk and improve recovery with a healthy diet.

I was most appreciative to attend the Congress and wish to thank the management of the organization for giving me the honor to attend. The experience was definitely an enlightening event.

No Good Startup Names Left – Want To Bet?

Bob Mandell Speaks at Cape Coral Rotary Club

Bob speaks at Cape Coral Rotary Club

When I started thinking about forming a non-profit in the stroke area in December 2014, just a few short months ago, one of the first things that I did was to think about obtaining a good name. As a prudent entrepreneur, what do I mean by a good name? I like names that say what our focus is or what we actually do! I don’t have millions of dollars to create a brand from a name that in itself is meaningless.

The current issue of august Forbes Magazine (9/7/15) has an article entitled – No Good Startup Names Left. Let me quote them:

“In mid-August Google announced it was reorganizing itself under an umbrella company to be called Alphabet. Pardon us for asking, but are world-beating multinationals now outsourcing their name selection to first-graders?
They aren’t actually- the problem it seems, is that all of the good names are already taken. And if Google can’t come up with a decent – or at least meaningful – name for itself, what hope does the average startup have? The unfortunate result: a spate of mealy mouthed mash-ups with no relevance to what the company does…”

While I would normally agree with the Forbes writer, he or she left out one very important factor in the availability of good names – DOES ANYONE CARE ABOUT A PARTICULAR FIELD OR SEGMENT, IS ANYONE LOOKING, IS THE PRODUCT, SERVICE, OR MISSION ON SOMEONE’S RADAR? If so, the names are gone!

So let’s go back to my name finding efforts a few months ago. After thinking about what my non-profit’s mission was going to be I went to my trusty domain seller – and started to put names in to the search engine. Low and behold, nearly every “good” or descriptive name was available. I was stunned. How could these not have been taken years ago as the Forbes article suggests?

How could it be – a disease that is the number five killer and number one long term disabling disease which strikes over 800,000 Americans a year, and millions, yes millions more globally? How was it possible that the good names were available? Because it seems that few people seem to care! Of course there are hard working professionals in the stroke field and there is obviously research ongoing. But I learned while researching my book, Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor that the whole field of stroke was seriously underserved in terms of advocacy, outreach and research, among other things.

So I bought a bunch of descriptive and meaningful names six or seven months ago and more since. Just a few, The Stroke Research Foundation (the name I chose), The Stroke Recovery Foundation, and Stroke Recovery Fund and believe me, it goes on. With and without the “The”!

So to this blog post’s original title – NO GOOD STARTUP NAMES LEFT! — WANT TO BET?



The Stroke Research Foundation intends to make a difference in the after stroke lifestyles and outcomes for millions of American’s, including many in SW Florida where I live! Stroke survivors, stroke caregivers and everyone else involved with stroke!!


Money, Money, Everywhere But Where It Should Be! Stroke Survivors Beware

Reading two articles that recently appeared in the Naples Daily News on preventing a type of stroke called atrial fibrillation through the use of anticoagulant drugs, I was most interested that the article was focused on preventing stroke with elegant new drugs that had millions of dollars behind them. The article was focusing on the effect of large sums of money and industry relationships that suggest “an old boy’s club”.

Bob with Dr. Dale Corbett

Dr. Dale Corbett – Scientific Director and CEO – Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery at the 2014 Partnership Scientific Meeting

In my book, Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor I discuss the drug approval process from a patient perspective and that the FDA plays a critical role. When I am speaking to an audience, many of whom are stroke survivors like myself or stroke caregivers a common question is “What is the state of rehabilitation research?” To which I answer – “The field is amazingly underserved considering that stroke is the number one long-term disabler disease.”

There is puzzlement in the audience to which I explain that most stroke rehabilitation is more physiological and mechanical and does not require drugs where the big research money is. Therefore, rehabilitation research is more dependent on government funding which has declined on a non inflationary dollar basis over the past ten or fifteen years. Unfortunately, even in the Government sector, stroke does not get its fair share which I will discuss further in a future blog post.

I am sometimes chastised for discussing the sorry state of stroke research however one knowledgeable administrator at a US Government clinical research site wrote me while I was editing the book, “Are we deficient in having sufficient rehab options and preventive strategies for people – absolutely! But that is another problem…”

As the recent Founder of The Stroke Research Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 headquartered in Naples we are focused on this problem – this conundrum! We seek to improve post-stroke lifestyles by developing strategies and technologies to maximize stroke recoveries of our neighbors in SW Florida, and nationally, many of whom are affected by this dreaded disease.