Pediatric Stroke Awareness Champions and Aphasia Support Group Among Honorees at Raising Awareness in Stroke Excellence (RAISE)
Elijah Rutherford accepting his award
Actor, Author and Stroke Survivor Kevin Sorbo Delivered "True Strength" Keynote
DENVER, Oct. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
-- Elijah Rutherford, 9, suffered a stroke before
birth. By age six, Elijah noticed that few were raising awareness about
pediatric stroke, a leading cause of death in children in the U.S. He wanted to
educate the world that children, babies and even unborn babies can have
strokes. He began taking his teddy bears, Pat and Patricia, to visit children
who had survived strokes. Now Elijah and his bears visit hundreds of children
around the world and help them feel more comfortable with the differences or
disabilities brought on by stroke.
Elijah and six
other winners were honored by National
Stroke Association at the Second Annual Raising Awareness In
Stroke Excellence (RAISE) Awards on Friday,
October 19, 2012, at the Downtown Denver Aquarium in Denver, Colo. Hollywood
actor, author, and stroke survivor Kevin Sorbo
headlined the event with a keynote speech, "True Strength," and an
exclusive book signing for event attendees. View event photos and see
the award winners.
The RAISE Awards
is a national program that recognizes individuals and groups in multiple
categories for taking stroke awareness activities to new heights. Former CBS
Weatherman and stroke survivor, Mark McEwen,
annually emcees the event. Award winners and stroke survivors of all ages
mingled at the evening event. Guests commented on how the event inspired them,
"All of the honorees inspired me. Their stories touched my heart and have
impacted my life tonight," said Kryssy Kimminau,
a registered nurse. "This is exactly what I needed in my career; sometimes
we need to be reminded why do what we do. Tonight was a true blessing."
Jim Baranski, Chief Executive Officer at National Stroke Association, opened
the evening event by reminding the crowd about why the Awards were created.
"There is no doubt that raising stroke awareness is one of the most
important ways to make an impact on stroke no matter the reach or type of
effort being made," he said. "By supporting the many stroke champions
already raising awareness across the country in unique and effective ways, the
RAISE Awards establishes a devoted and organized community engaged for the long
Elijah Rutherford, Most Creative
more about Elijah Rutherford and the traveling
bears at www.travelingawarenessbears.org.
Kathy Howard, Outstanding Individual
Kathy Howard is a stroke survivor and the founder of an organization committed
to educating stroke survivors and their families that there is life after
stroke. Almost three years ago, Ms. Howard started the Warrior Walk (now known
as Stampede for Stroke), walking 11.8 miles from the hospital where she was
first treated for her stroke to the hospital where she received outpatient
treatment. She is also the founder of ABC Brigade, an organization committed to
raising awareness about stroke prevention and educating stroke survivors and
their families that there is life after stroke.
Lunch Bunch, Outstanding Support Group
Aphasia Lunch Bunch is making an impact in the stroke and aphasia community in Las Vegas by helping their members cope with the life
changes associated with stroke. The Aphasia Lunch Bunch is making an impact in
the stroke and aphasia community in Las Vegas.
The support group provides classes, activities, conference, educational
materials and videos to members and their caregivers. Meetings are filled with
sharing ideas and solutions, and classes on everything from alternate
communications to cooking are eagerly attended. The goal is to assist every
individual, family member and caregiver in coping with and conquering the
difficulties in dealing with the life changes associated with stroke.
Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA), Outstanding Group
a non-profit organization that was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to
improving the lives of children and families affected by pediatric stroke and
other causes of hemiplegia. In addition to a focus on raising awareness about
pediatric stroke to increase understanding and early diagnosis, CHASA provides
three informational websites for its more than 5,000 members, plans and hosts
an annual retreat for families of children who have hemiplegia, and supports
local family events through a small grant program. CHASA also assists
researchers in recruiting participants for research studies, provides financial
assistance to help families in need purchase hand and foot braces, and provides
college and vocational school and athletic scholarships for young adults who
have hemiplegia. Learn more at www.chasa.org.
Barbara Wilder, Most Impactful
Barbara Wilder is a 14-year stroke survivor ambassador and volunteer who brings
stroke survivors and their families hope, encouragement and her own story of
survival. Ms. Wilder is a 14-year stroke survivor and ambassador of the Stroke
Support Association in Long Beach, Calif. For
the past 10 years, she has visited stroke survivors and their families at the
Long Beach Memorial Community Hospital in California.
Through her visits she brings new stroke patients and their families hope,
encouragement and her own story of survival. Barbara also acts as a mentor and
helps train new volunteers.
Joe Romenesko, Most Impactful Community Fundraising Event
Joe Romenesko, a stroke survivor, wakes up every morning intending to show the
world that a stroke does not necessarily mean the end of a fulfilling and
productive life. With some friends and fellow cyclists, he planned a
fundraising event, then represented National Stroke Association by biking 42
miles in the 2012 TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. His event was attended by more
than 800 people and raised more than $16,000 for
Stroke Association is the only national organization in the U.S. that focuses
100 percent of its efforts on stroke by developing compelling education and
programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all
impacted by stroke. Its mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of
stroke. Visit www.stroke.org
to learn more.
Press Contact: Taryn Fort
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1qHVZ)