AUSTIN, April 16, 2024 — Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability in older age. To help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of a stroke while raising lifesaving funds, the American Stroke Association held the sixth annual CycleNation Austin on Thursday.

The ride featured teams from local companies and individuals who came together to pedal for a purpose. This year’s event included more than 100 riders and raised over $80,000 for heart and stroke research.

Emceed by KXAN Weekend Sports Reporter Jonathan Thomas, the evening was filled with energy and activities to work the body and mind. Attendees heard from stroke survivor Dr. Mike Petersen, who shared his experience of being on the patient side of care after years as an executive advocating for others.

“I am used to taking care of patients, so being one myself was really hard to go through,” said Petersen. “To see yourself as a patient and go through rehab for seven months is a long journey. Even though it was long, it was worthwhile, because I am here to share that stroke is going to impact you in one way or another.”

Each year approximately 800,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke. However, research shows that up to 80% of strokes may be prevented.

“My biggest advice is to check your blood pressure,” said Petersen. “I was healthy, working out regularly and yet I still had a stroke. My son found me in the morning and got my wife who called 911 immediately.”

Knowing F.A.S.T. and responding quickly in a stroke emergency may mean the difference between recovery and disability- Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to Call 911.

JE Dunn was recognized as the Top Company and had a great showing on the bikes while Todd Mattocks of JE Dunn brought home the trophy for Top Individual.

CycleNation is a signature event of the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge program which is designed to help companies positively impact employee overall health and wellbeing. The program is anchored in a series of events that inspires employees to be more engaged, reconnect with colleagues, get in their physical activity, support a great cause and have a lot of fun doing it.

CycleNation Austin is presented by Comfort Systems and St. David’s HealthCare and sponsored by Rosendin Electric, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia and JE Dunn Construction. To learn more about this movement, or to find your next CycleNation event to participate, visit

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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Megan Taylor, 512-639-4366,

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