This is from reader Shana Siegel:
I will be running this half marathon to raise funds for the American Stroke Association. In 2002, I suffered a stroke and while I made a complete recovery, I can still recall how scary it was to suddenly have half of my body go numb. At the time, I did not understand that the numbness I felt on the left side of my body was a classic sign of stroke. It took months to get a diagnosis. Every doctor I spoke to said I was too young to have had a stroke. During this time, I searched the internet, like so many of us do, for clues as to cause of illness. The American Stroke Associationâ€™s website listing of common stroke symptoms encouraged me to seek out a doctor that would take my symptoms seriously. When my neurologist diagnosed stoke, he too thought I was too young. However, I have come to find out that stroke is not a condition that effects any age group in particular.
About 700,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds. That is why it is important to know the warning signs of stoke. As I have already mentioned, sudden numbness on one side of the face or body is sign of stroke. A person may also have sudden dizziness or trouble with balance, trouble speaking or understanding, or sudden severe headache with no known cause. It is important to realize that the symptoms of stroke come on suddenly and that is important to call 911 if you or someone you know begins to experience these symptoms. Okay enough with the educational portion of this letter, now I am going to tell you how together we can work to end stroke.
The American Stroke Association has developed a program called Train to End Stroke that gives participants the opportunity, through training with coaches, to complete a marathon or a half marathon feeling strong in exchange for raising funds for stroke research and education. However, you do not have to run even one mile because I will do it for you! My fundraising goal is to raise $5,000 dollars by April 15. As we all know, April 15 is tax day, so let me remind you that your donation is 100% tax deductible. While it is too late for this yearâ€™s tax, a donation made to the American Stroke Association will make a great tax deduction for next year. And remember, the greater the gift the greater the tax deduction!
I’ve talked to Shana, and this is all on the level. Her donation page is here.