Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in America & a leading cause of adult disability.
Up to 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!
What is a stroke?
A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery (a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) or a blood vessel (a tube through which the blood moves through the body) breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.
When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. These abilities include speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.
For example, someone who has a small stroke may experience only minor problems such as weakness of an arm or leg. People who have larger strokes may be paralyzed on one side or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors will have some type of disability.
History of National Stroke Awareness Month
National Stroke Awareness Month takes place in May every year. On May 11, 1989, President George H. W. Bush signed Presidential Proclamation 5975 designating May as National Stroke Awareness Month at the urging of National Stroke Association. Since then, National Stroke Association has been honoring this special time of the year to increase public awareness of stroke in an effort to conquer it.
Over the years, public education campaigns have been conducted during May to increase awareness of different aspects of stroke that directly affect specific populations, such as women or those at high risk for stroke. Today, National Stroke Association continues educating the public through campaigns such as the Faces of Stroke℠ and by designing easy-to-use tools and resources that initiate individuals and groups to raise awareness on a local level.
There is a great movement of stroke champions already engaged in heightening the awareness of stroke in the U.S. By joining the thousands of people already committed to stroke awareness, you adopt stroke as a cause and put everyone further down the road to reduced incidence.
What Does it Mean to Raise Awareness?
Raising stroke awareness is about:
- Elevating stroke in the mindset of everyone in the U.S. so more people care about supporting stroke research and education.
- Ensuring that everyone understands the emotional, physical and financial impacts that stroke has on our country.
- Influencing others to improve their health by sharing personal stories of how stroke has already affected the lives of so many.
- Talking to legislators and thought leaders about how their decisions can positively affect survivors throughout their recovery.
- Providing a platform for the more than 7 million survivors and their families to discuss their experiences and live with dignity. Stroke survivors possess the most influential and inspiring knowledge needed to make an impact on society. Their voices are so important.
Raising awareness knows no boundaries. Even the smallest efforts matter.