DALLAS, May 2, 2022 – Approximately 800,000 Americans have a stroke each year and one in four survivors will have another one. To recognize the resiliency and dedication it takes to rise up against stroke, six everyday heroes from around the country are being honored by the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.
The American Stroke Association’s annual Stroke Hero Awards honor stroke survivors, health care professionals and family caregivers. The Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health and research for all, celebrates these heroes during American Stroke Month this May and proudly advocates for stroke survivors year-round.
Overcoming stroke requires immense strength and dedication and every person’s experience is unique. The following Stroke Heroes are being recognized for outstanding efforts in educating, inspiring and raising awareness about stroke.
- Voters’ Choice Hero: David Moskowitz, Cincinnati, Ohio.
David Moskowitz was a healthy, active high schooler when he experienced a stroke from a brain bleed four years ago. After a delayed diagnosis, he spent nearly a month in the hospital fighting to survive. After months of therapy, David regained his mobility, strength and vision. Today, he’s completing his Bachelor of Science in nursing and nursing cooperative education, while learning from the very nurses who helped save his life.
- Group Heroes: International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke (IAPS), Charlotte, North Carolina.
The International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke (IAPS) educates and raises awareness about stroke among children. The IAPS advocates on state, national and world levels through various efforts, including its annual Pediatric Stroke Awareness Campaign in May and collaborative efforts with organizations like the American Stroke Association.
- Pediatric Hero: Kyler Lewis, College Station, Texas.
Teenager Kyler Lewis shares his story as a pediatric stroke survivor to educate and inspire others. He uses social media such as Facebook, YouTube and CaringBridge, as well as local news interviews and community functions, to document his recovery after his stroke in 2020 at age 15. Kyler mails pediatric stroke survivors gifts, encourages them in their recovery and shows them they’re not alone.
- Equity Hero: Andrew Suggs, Baltimore, Maryland.
Andrew Suggs created Live Chair Health in 2017 to partner with barbershops and salons to increase awareness about health issues — including stroke — that disproportionately affect Black people. The organization equips barbers and hairdressers with blood pressure monitors and health information that allow more Black people to get preventative care, lower their blood pressure and live longer.
- Caregiver Hero: Elyse Newland, Harrison, Tennessee.
Elyse Newland became frustrated when her grandmother got inconsistent care after a warning stroke called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) in 2019. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native changed her career focus to become a certified stroke rehabilitation specialist. Elyse then started several free public channels for stroke rehab education via YouTube, blog posts, an eBook and a nonprofit.
- Survivor Hero: Deb Shaw, Los Gatos, California.
After three strokes, Deb Shaw created ChampiontheChallenges.org, a California nonprofit in which she encourages stroke survivors to pursue her 3P’s for a successful recovery: Patience, Positivity and Practice. Deb encourages stroke survivors to reimagine their rehabilitation journey. Her website, YouTube channel and Quick Read TM booklets are filled with inspirational content, therapy ideas, health care technology and success stories.
Winners were selected by a nationwide panel of volunteer judges from the American Stroke Association, with the exception of the Voters’ Choice Award, which was selected via online votes.
Stroke is the No. 5 killer in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Those who have had a stroke often must work against physical, emotional and cognitive changes to move forward. To do so requires strength and support.
For more information, visit www.Stroke.org/HeroAwards.
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 nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit stroke.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics–2022 Update: Summary Circulation.2022;145:e153–e639. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052