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Mark M.

July 24, 2015

I am ... A Survivor

It was November 15, 2005.

That was the date of my stroke.

Like most stroke survivors that was the day my life turned to Before and After. My stroke was massive and what followed has been quite a journey. I learned words I had only vaguely heard of before. Words like therapy—physical, speech and something called occupational. I had to learn to walk again, to talk again, to swallow again. It was Katherine Hepburn who said growing old was not for sissies. I learned that the aftermath of a stroke is no bed of roses, either.

I was in the hospital for a month. That’s where I began my therapy. That’s also where I went from a wheel chair to a walker to walking, albeit slowly, on my own.

I learned also that most of the healing happens between the ears.  You have to be stubborn, pig headed, whatever phrase you use. My mantra was don’t give up. You can’t.

I got stronger and then I got busy.

I found out there was a whole world out there like me. The first time I spoke, National Stroke Association was there. They have been a friend to me and to many other survivors and caregivers.

I speak all around the country, have a website, www.markmcewen.com on stroke, and write a blog that highlights people I’ve met and healthy things I’ve learned.

Throughout  this journey there has always been something gnawing at me. Whenever I saw a yellow livestrong wristband or a pink ribbon for breast cancer I thought why not us?

Well I’m happy to say that has changed.

National Stroke Association has a new campaign called Come Back Strong.  A color, blue, and the slogan on everything…T-shirts, water bottles, plus hikes and will soon be hosting runs around the country.

 I’m proud to say this is for us. It helps raise awareness of stroke.

That’s important.

And that’s also a good thing.

RETURN TO COME BACK STRONG | LEARN MORE ABOUT COMEBACK TRAIL

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