Know-Stroke.org receives Top Stroke Blog Award


licensedpracticalnurse.com

Thanks to LicensedPracticalNurse.com for recognizing my work  in writing my know-stroke blog and for including it as an essential resource on their site to educate their visitors about stroke.  Please stop by their website to see the other top award winning stroke blogs for 2010 that were honored as valuable stroke rehab and recovery resources.

David Dansereau
David Dansereau (Know-Stroke.org)

 

 

 

 

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Bruschi “Factor” could have Legendary Impact on Kids Stroke Awareness


What impressed me the most about this story was what the students did on their own to help spread stroke awareness.

-David Dansereau for Know-Stroke.org

It was argued recently on New England Sports Network (NESN.com) which sports figure in New England is the greatest.  With names like Bird, Orr, Williams, Bourque, Russell, Yaz and Brady to name a few, how do you decide?  I guess it matters just which Boston sport is your favorite, but I would argue another “Teddy Ballgame”, which didn’t get mentioned by NESN would be the other, Tedy, not Williams but last name Bruschi, that was not mentioned.

Tedy Bruschi and Bobby Orr throw out first pitch at Fenway ParkI’m sure it isn’t just my argument, because few sports legends in New England still create such a buzz with their presence as players like Tedy Bruschi and Bobby Orr.  You can see that clearly when you attend a Bruins game at TD BankNorth Garden and you still  witness B’s fans donning the #4 Bobby Orr Bruins jersey, even several decades after he quit lacing up his skates for the Bruins.  The same can be said for Bruschi.  I recently had the privilege of attending a Patriots preseason game this year with my family and while “tailgating” with my wife and two young sons (yup,drinking juice boxes),  we noticed there were just as many #54 Bruschi jerseys in that parking lot as any other active Patriots player.  Equal numbers of these Bruschi jerseys were being donned by respecting fans in the stadium as well as by the Kraft family’s tribute with life-size photos of #54 in the halls of Gillette Stadium.

It is this same legendary impact, or “Bruschi Factor”, that could give such an enormously needed boost to stroke awareness. Take for example the impact of Bruschi’s recent trip back to Gillette Stadium on November 3rd to speak to students from Holbrook Junior-Senior High School, and the influence the “Bruschi Factor” had on the entire school.  Tedy took the time to address 260 bright young minds about his story and his book “Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery & My Return to the NFL” and discussed lessons learned with these students.  What impressed me the most about this story was what the students did on their own to help spread stroke awareness.   The story as reported on Patriots.com mentioned that the students were so impacted by Tedy’s book that “it extended well beyond English class, as the school tried to incorporate it (stroke awareness) into all aspects of the school, discussing the science of strokes, doing football-related math problems, and even working it into the school’s student council program.”   The Patriots.com story concluded with students “even surprised Bruschi with the donation of $1,054 – in honor of his 54 jersey number – at the event”.

So, whatever motivated these students by Bruschi’s message is the same “Factor” I’ve been trying to get the American Stroke Association (ASA) to fully “Tap” for stroke awareness.  Since recovering from my own stroke, I’ve been involved with Tedy’s Team raising awareness and funds for stroke research and education.   Last year I submitted a greater Boston Community Impact grant proposal through the American Stroke Association targeted at gaining better stroke awareness for the young faces of stroke.  My “Bright Minds” proposal is aimed specifically to Boost KIDS IDEAS ABOUT STROKE -(Identifying and Delivering Education About Stroke) Tagline:“Using great ideas from Young minds to get Grown-ups thinking BIG about Stroke.”

Bright Minds grant proposal for stroke awareness by David Dansereau

Unfortunately, I recently learned my proposal was not funded by the AHA/ASA.  I am “boosted” by this recent story on Patriots.com because it demonstrates exactly my intended “Bright Minds” concept and the potential  impact my proposal could have on kids and stroke.  So, I’ll keep trying.

I know this requires Tedy’s time and talent, but the outcome could indeed provide for a Legendary Impact on Kids Stroke Awareness throughout the Nation.  Perhaps, “Bruschi on Tap” someday might not only mean lessons learned from being a great player and now great analyst breaking down the game, but also for his ability to tap “Bright Minds” to be in touch with knowing stroke warning signs and “Never Giving Up” .

David Dansereau at Know-Stroke.org

David Dansereau for Know-Stroke.org
Read more on the sources cited for this post at:

Students Treated to Special Meeting with Tedy Bruschi

Boston has seen its fair share of great sports figures, but which one is the greatest?

To read my comprehensive Bright Minds Stroke Awareness Proposal or to consider helping with alternate funding sources please contact me through my corporate link and I’ll gladly send you my proposal details.  Thank you.

see also PFO Research Foundation at pforesearch.org

Could “What’s in Your Water?” increase your stroke risk??


A report released earlier today by Reuters showed a correlation between high arsenic levels in a Michigan district’s drinking water with a nearly two-fold increase in stroke risk for that area studied.  While this is only one study it is an area that is of particular interest, not only in Michigan but especially in many areas throughout the nation with older cities and aging water delivery systems.

If you’d like to find out what is in your local water supply, I suggest going to a reputable site developed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a DC based non-profit that has compiled a great resource  of almost 20 million records obtained from state water officials to make it easier for you to find out ” What’s  in Your Water?“.

Interestingly, throughout the country,  EWG’s research has  found 316 chemicals in tap water and many of them are going unregulated.  Go here to check your water source by zip code:  http://www.ewg.org/tap-water.

Here’s more on this water quality resource:

EWG’s searchable database of water test results allows the public to check out the quality of the water in their community, and EWG researchers have also compiled an easy-to-use guide to water filtration systems currently on the market, giving consumers some help when deciding which one works best for themselves and their families.  Again,  go here  http://www.ewg.org/tap-water to check your water quality.

To learn more about the arsenic level in Michigan water and increased stroke risk reported here, go to the Reuters article :

Arsenic in drinking water tied to stroke risk by Amy Norton
Reported by David Dansereau
Know-Stroke.org

David Dansereau
David Dansereau (Know-Stroke.org)

Does Stroke Awareness need a Better Color or a Better Sponsor??


October just wrapped up Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you could easily find its signature pink color practically everywhere you turned.  Here’s only a few examples of where I spotted the pink ribbons and the pink theme this past month.  Cereal boxes, soup, popcorn and probably a dozen other items I could list if I looked more carefully in our family’s food pantry.  Then there was the pink invasion in pro sports and in the media as well.

Tom Brady

Just about every football players in any Sunday NFL game you turned on TV as well as many baseball players in the MLB playoffs were all touting pink shoelaces and gloves.

If the color pink wasn’t found on the field, then they undoubtedly had a special hat made up with their team logo accented in pink or wore the “classic” pink ribbon pin during a key press moment either pre or post game.  It had almost seemed as if you didn’t join the “in” crowd and wear a pink ribbon on whatever you’re wearing, you’d be left out as not supporting breast cancer awareness.

This is all a good thing, I can’t stress this enough.  Breast Cancer Awareness is “on the ball” getting their message out BIG TIME and only gaining momentum year after year.

Hmmm….  How are they doing it and how can stroke awareness go BIG TIME too ?

I researched the origins of the pink awareness effort for breast cancer because I wanted to try to model their success to gain better awareness for stroke.  As you know if you are reading this from my blog (know-stroke.org) I am  particularly interested in gaining better stroke awareness for the young faces of stroke ( pediatric stroke awareness ) as well as when stroke presents itself in the case of  a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale).  These are both areas where there is so much more work to be done and where I have been trying to make a difference.   While I’ve been told I have already made an impact through my volunteer efforts, I can’t help temper my frustration when I hear about another young stroke victim that didn’t get immediate attention because his coach didn’t recognize the stroke warning signs.  I get an equal measure of discouragement when our non-profit group, the PFO Research Foundation struggles to gain new sponsors to further fund our cause for better PFO patient education.

The Big Sponsor that helped Breast Cancer Awareness go BIG TIME

My research showed that Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) is now 26 years old.  I also discovered the color pink is a Big Pharma-funded effort, it was launched by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.  There also is some controversy regarding the pink campaign and if it is actually helping Big Pharma boost its bottom line and sell the company’s cancer drugs through improved screening and faster treatment delivery.  Either way, it’s been a wildly successful awareness campaign for breast cancer and it appears obvious its presence has inspired many.

My case for better stroke colors or a BIG TIME Sponsor

In the midst of all the pink in October, did you know October 29th was World Stroke Day? I bet if I asked ten people that question, not a single person could tell me that date or its significance.   Indeed, a WORLWIDE Stroke Day for awareness and I could not even get my local paper in town, The Valley Breeze, to print a public service announcement to inform readers of the stroke warning signs (here’s my post on this topic).  I was told by the editor, Tom Ward, that there simply was not enough room to honor my request because there were too many political ads to print prior to the Nov 2nd general elections.   I received this information ahead of the paper’s release this past week and while I was not expecting to see my stroke PSA in print I honestly also wasn’t expecting to see the front page and a second page (p.29) in the paper both showing pictures of a pink fire truck that came to our town to promote breast cancer awareness.  As I mention in the title of this post, I think I may be on to something, because I think our stroke colors may be all wrong.  My theory:  Would better colors, or brand awareness, attract more attention to the stroke awareness cause?  Unfortunately, I believe it is more complicated than simply having the wrong colors.

The issue of stroke survivorship (and media coverage) often takes a different path when compared to the successful cancer awareness efforts.  I’d even suggest the color might not matter, just for argument, think yellow wrist bracelet and what do you think of, Lance Armstrong/Livestrong/Cancer.   I think for a good explanation of why stroke awareness just doesn’t “pack a punch” in the media you should read a recent article in the Baltimore Sun by Kris Appel.  The article is entitled, “Bringing Stroke Out of the Shadows” and it discusses how shame and lack of attention still surround this disease.  This is a great article both for stroke survivors and the general public.  Miss Appel’s article ends with “But until we become comfortable with the idea of stroke and are willing to talk about it, to acknowledge its toll on this country, it will remain in the dark”.  How fitting, right now I believe our stroke color needs to change, because you can’t see color in the dark.

[Personal Sidebar] To end my week full of color, I guess you could say, take one guess what color my daughter picked out to have (me) paint her room this past weekend?  You guessed it, pink.

photo by David Dansereau for know-stroke.org

Article by David Dansereau

know-stroke.org

David Dansereau
David Dansereau (Know-Stroke.org)