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Stroke awareness

THANK you to all our supporters who helped make this National Stroke Week such a huge success.

On behalf of the Stroke Foundation I would like to thank the thousands of Australians who helped us educate the community about the importance of knowing the signs of stroke this National Stroke Week.

National Stroke Week is our annual campaign to shine the spotlight on stroke, raising awareness of the devastating impact of this insidious disease.

Stroke Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about stroke and how they can reduce their own risk. I am confident there are thousands of people in the community who now know about the FAST message thanks to the more than 2500 activities that were held across the country.

With Stroke Week now wrapped up for 2016, it is vital we remember strokes don’t just happen one week of the year. Every 10 minutes an Australian has a stroke. Every 10 minutes someone’s life changes forever.

Stroke is shockingly common in Australia. Yet despite the devastation it causes, this disease is largely unrecognised by the broader community – until it happens to a loved one, a friend or a colleague. Stroke is largely preventable, but we know that almost 50,000 new and recurring strokes will happen this year. Stroke is treatable but again we know that many stroke patients will miss out on lifesaving treatment because they don’t get to hospital on time.

Stroke strikes suddenly and often without any warning. When it does happens, every minute counts. Time is brain. For every minute that parts of the brain are left without oxygen, brain cells are dying. A speedy reaction to stroke can mean the difference between life and death or permanent disability. Stroke doesn’t have to be a death sentence, it is treatable but people need to know the signs of stroke and get to hospital fast. Every stroke is a medical emergency.

Thanks to our incredible supporters we were able to spread this message far and wide this Stroke Week, reaching a record number of Australians. But our work doesn’t stop here - it is our mission to stop stroke, save lives and end the suffering caused by this devastating disease. It will take the combined efforts of the community, health professionals and governments to achieve this mission. I know together we can prevent, treat and beat stroke.

Sharon McGowan

CEO Stroke Foundation

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