Oprah Challenge

Do You Know Oprah?

Letterman on OprahI learned recently that it took a major celeb like David Letterman almost 7 years to finally get on Oprah’s show. I simply can’t wait that long and I need your help to get there quicker. Please help me speak with Oprah about an important health matter. I need her voice to help educate others about PFO (patent foramen ovale) stroke awareness and the connection between the brain, migraines, and the heart. If you are up to date on my story, you know this is a mission I am taking very seriously. While David Letterman made his “Oprah Log” a fun part of his show, I am using that same principle of asking others “Do you know Oprah?” and testing the principle of the six degrees of separation to try to make a connection with Oprah.While I have been doing a great deal of writing and talking about this issue (more than I let everyone know) I need your help to complete this journey. For example, I’ve sent articles to Dr. Oz (a cardiologist often seen on Oprah), contacted Oprah.com many,many times, and made my intentions known to Tedy’s Team, Tedy Bruschi and his wife, and the American Stroke Association (Boston and RI affiliates)- I still need your help.

While I have been making consistent progress, I have not yet reached my goal. For example, I was interviewed recently for the NY Times (Wed. January 14,2009) on the Cover of Business Daily section

Read the NY Times article here on my blog

A reader from my blog noticed me in the NY Times and sent me this “touched up” photo to help me visualize my goals.

Please take a moment to post your own comments or ideas below. While this page has a “fun” tone I hope you know I am serious with my stroke awareness plan and hope you can help me follow through with my plan. After all, the Oprah log worked for Dave.With enough brains and motivation I believe anything is possible… Thank You.

I appreciate any and all comments, leads, ideas you would be willing to provide here:

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

Help David To Help Others Not rated yet
August 9th 2008 my 12 year old daughter Jamie Coyle a, healthy, ice hockey player suffered a stroke during a game. David Dansereau being from our home …

Making progress towards The Oprah Show Not rated yet
Last month I reported to you that I was picking up the pace trying to spread the word on stroke awareness, even getting interviewed by the NY Times for …

Start with the NY Times article Not rated yet
I mentioned my know-stroke.org blog reader who sent me the “Morphed” Oprah picture you see in the article above from this original NY Times photo, but …

Share your suggestions directly with Oprah.com

Could you take a moment to write in to Oprah.com for me? Here’s the link

Stroke Resources:

To help you describe the purpose of a show suggestion, I’ve provided these links below from previous article posts and videos on my site. Please feel free to reference these links and pass them on in your letter.

My Goal: I have been working at trying to get through to Oprah and Dr. Oz to suggest a show about PFO, migraines,stroke and the possible related  heart connection and ideally developing a show for May  ( Nat’l Stroke Awareness Month).

Additionally, I have been working to try to get Tedy’s Team, and Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots to speak nationally (to Oprah) about his stroke and his new book Never Give Up.

For progress update and learn more on PFO:  Visit pforesearch.org

Click here for my Tedy’s Team Donation Page to learn more
Read my Stroke Story

Here’s just one of the letters I sent in to Dr. Oz to give you an idea of how to write in for a show suggestion:

Dear Dr. Oz;
I am following up to a recent article I located on Oprah.com re: headaches/migraines and the reference you made regarding the possible cause being a hole in the heart. I wanted to share my story with you and the need for more national awareness due to this possible cause for migraines and stroke. I am a stroke survivor and suffered with migraines for years prior to my stroke. It was only after I had a stroke in the fall of last year at the age of 39 that doctors looked at my heart and found I had a PFO. I am a health educator in private practice (nutritionist and physical therapist) and although I educate my clients about the warning signs for heart disease and stroke all the time- I had no idea this defect could:

#1) lead to a stroke

#2) be so devastating physically and emotionally

As it turns out during my journey, I found out many physicians also lack the necessary training and awareness to screen for this possible heart/brain connection. Due to limited space I will reference my story on line here:

My story online:

A video interview I recently did:


It is my goal to help raise awareness for stroke and for better understanding of this
possible connection between the heart and brain. To that end, I have teamed up with Tedy’s Team and the Boston and Rhode Island affiliates of the American Heart/Stroke Associations to help raise awareness, as well as have helped establish the PFO Research Foundation.  There is a great need for better education and research b/c this defect can be devastating to young stroke and migraine survivors like myself that often get misdiagnosed or ignored due to age.

I sincerely hope you could use your expertise and position in the media,esp. through your connection with Oprah to help me raise awareness and possibly consider a follow-up show regarding this topic. I plan to also contact the writers at Oprah as well to see if they would consider a show perhaps in May for Stroke Awareness Month.

Thank you,
David Dansereau
Stroke Survivor


5 Replies to “Oprah Challenge”

  1. Would you please remind again of how you tell if someone actually is having a stroke? I remember Dr. Oz saying that you lift your arms and say or do something, but I don’t remember what it was. thank you. Susan Metzger


  2. The most common stroke symptoms 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
    If you see someone having these symptoms or experience any of these symptoms yourself, call 911 immediately. Treatment can be more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts.


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