May is American Stroke Awareness Month. The Power To End Stroke campaign is celebrating the power that every individual has to reduce the risk of stroke and to prevent and overcome stroke in the communities at greatest risk.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of freedom was reiterated by his daughter, the late Yolanda King, who served as an ambassador for the Power To End Stroke campaign shortly after her mother, Coretta Scott King, suffered a stroke.
“We will only be truly free when we reach down to the inner depths of our own emancipation proclamation,” Yolanda King said. “No civil rights, no voting rights, no equal rights, no immigration rights are worth fighting for if we are dying from heart disease and stroke.”
Stroke is a leading cause of death among people of color, as well as the leading cause of long-term disability. More than 100,000 African Americans have a stroke every year.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk of stroke:
• Eat a balanced, portion-controlled diet emphasizing a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, fish, legumes and sources of protein low in saturated fat;
• Get physically active at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week;
• Don’t smoke;
• Schedule regular visits with your doctor.
Knowing the warning signs, being quick to call 911 and getting to a hospital immediately may help reduce the devastating effects of stroke because time lost is brain lost. The warning signs are:
• Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body;
• Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding;
• Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
• Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination;
• Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
Power Boston Weekend 2009
Power Boston 2009 is a multicultural celebration of Power To End Stroke, the American Stroke Association’s campaign to raise stroke awareness among communities at greatest risk for stroke.
On Friday, May 15, 2009, the campaign will host “Making the Stroke Connection — Power To The Public: Closing the Gap and Achieving Health Equity in Stroke.” The forum will train Power To End Stroke ambassadors, community health and public health practitioners. Register now at http://www.heart.org/mtsc.
Also on Friday, May 15, 2009, the Stroke’s No Joke Comedy Night will take place at Nick’s Comedy Stop, located at 100 Warrenton Street in Boston. The evening of live comedy entertainment will also feature powerful stroke messaging from some of Boston’s best comedians. The event, sponsored by The Bay State Banner, Exhale Magazine, WUNI-TV and JAM’N 94.5, will be emceed by JAM’N 94.5 FM’s Ramiro with DJ Pup Dawg.
Later that weekend, on Sunday, May 17, 2009, Greater Love Tabernacle at 101 Nightingale Street in Dorchester will present Power Sunday, a powerful and inspiring service sharing the power that one has to prevent and overcome stroke. Join Pastor William Dickerson II at Greater Love Tabernacle at 11 a.m. for this powerful experience.
The power is in your hands to prevent and overcome stroke. Power To End Stroke is an education and awareness campaign that embraces and celebrates the culture, energy and lifestyles of communities of color in Boston. It unites African Americans to help make an impact on the high incidence of stroke within the community, and asks them to pledge:
• To not just survive — but thrive;
• To learn how to live stronger and longer — for themselves, their families and their communities;
• To join the movement to prevent and overcome stroke; and
• To call 911 immediately if they or someone they know experience the aforementioned signs of stroke.
Choose to move for your health. Sign on to the Power to End Stroke pledge by visiting http://www.heart.org/greaterbostonchi and enter to win an iPod today.
For more information, call 1-888-4-STROKE.
The Banner's monthly health supplement explores the dangers of stroke, providing readers with information on risk factors, symptoms, information on how to recognize a stroke when it happens and details on the importance of acting quickly. More »
The Web site of the American Stroke Association's campaign to inform people of the actions they can take to avoid stroke includes a host of useful information. More »