SPRINGFIELD – May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, will once again host a forum open to stroke survivors and their caregivers. The 2013 Pioneer Valley Stroke Survivors and Caregivers Forum; Movin' and Groovin' After Stroke will take place on May 8 at the MassMutual Center.
Close to 400 will attend the event, which is designed to bring together stroke survivors and caregivers so they may become better connected with the network of resources available. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the day will include more than a dozen exhibitors, local healthcare providers and stroke survivors who will educate and share information.
The forum will once again be hosted by Boston comedian and American Stroke Association supporter Chris Tabb whose family has been personally touched by stroke.
The Pioneer Valley Stroke Forum is open to the public and admission is just $5, which will include a light breakfast and heart healthy lunch. For more information go to www.heart.org/PVstrokeforum. For tickets call the American Heart Association local office at 827-0400.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America today. It's also a major cause of severe long-term disability. If you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, call 911 immediately and act F.A.S.T. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs and symptoms of a stroke:
• Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
• Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
• Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand when asked to repeat a simple sentence?
• Time to call 911 – If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately. Time lost is brain lost.
For more tips, tools and support, or to find out more about stroke, call 1-888-4-STROKE (1-888-478-7653) or visit www.strokeassociation.org