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What We Do And Why

The National Stroke Association was founded in 1984 as the only national association devoted 100% to support stroke rehabilitation and prevention efforts.

What is a stroke? A stroke is basically a “brain attack” that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blood clot or broken blood vessel. On average, every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke and about 800,000 people will be affected each year. For 7 million stroke survivors throughout the United States, receiving the appropriate education and care is essential to their recovery.

A stroke can happen to anyone at any time! A common fallacy is that only “old people have strokes.” That simply isn’t the case; a stroke can happen to anyone at any age, regardless of physical shape, race or gender. 

The National Stroke Association offers largely free education, resources, services, and legislative advocacy focused on the needs of stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals in the stroke community nationwide. We actively provide services to about 90,000 stroke survivors, 30,000 caregivers, and more than 110,000 healthcare professionals in the U.S. and Canada; and the number is growing every day.

Our Vision
We will promote equality and support for all impacted by stroke.

Our Mission
We will reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by delivering education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

Our Values

  • We serve and support all impacted by stroke.
  • We believe in raising the voices of stroke survivors by advocating for equal access to care.
  • We believe that education and support enriches every aspect of the recovery journey and enhances the dignity and equal treatment of stroke survivors.

Some of the Facts

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability.

  • 2X more women die from stroke each year compared to breast cancer.
  • There was a spike of 44% in the number of young Americans hospitalized due to stroke over the last decade. 
  • Stroke causes the death of one in four Hispanic males and one in three Hispanic women.
  • Globally stroke affects 17 million people, of these nearly 6 million die and another 5 million are disabled.
  • Twice as many African Americans have strokes than Caucasians.

Why we need your help?

To deliver our commitment to improve the lives of those we serve, we rely overwhelmingly on the support of donors.  About 74% of our dollars are used to deliver public and professional stroke education and resources, and we need your help to continue to:      

  • Increase awareness of life-saving stroke information by developing education around identification and reduction of personal risk factors and recognition of stroke warning signs.
  • Host Comeback Trail 5K walks and fun-runs to raise stroke awareness and celebrate the recovery journey across the nation.
  • Improve quality of life for stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals by developing resources, tools and support programs that aid stroke recovery.
  • Grow the National Stroke Association Helpline – 1-800-STROKES. You’ll help enable us to increase our resources, staff and volunteer base, to provide guided support and assistance, for more survivors and their loved ones.
  • Impact stroke survivors by elevating the national conversation for this devastating and highly under recognized disease.

We make a difference!

  • 86% of stroke survivors we serve make behavioral changes as a result of our programs.
  • 95% of healthcare professionals we connect with show an improvement in their stroke knowledge, and 60% are implementing practice changes as a result of our programs.
  • 70% of caregivers we support have valuable resources as a result of our programs and tools.

It is a privilege for us to count on your help to continue to provide much needed services. Will you help us reach our goal to serve the stroke community even better and make a gift today?

Where does your money go?

You can browse the full website for information about all of our programs and resources. For a quick overview here is a sample list of programs and services we currently provide:

  • FAST program in a box: Recognizing stroke symptoms quickly will have a direct impact on the recovery of the survivor. We provide presentations, tools, discussion questions, posters, post-assessment test, and items with FAST messaging to raise awareness.
  • iHope: Online webinar series covering a variety of topics. iHope webinars are facilitated by National Stroke Association staff and feature experts nationwide.
  • Stroke Recovery Navigator Program: A community-based, telephone navigation program that seeks to improve patient reported outcomes of return to normal living measures and caregiver perception of burden. 
  • A free quarterly StrokeSmart magazine that is delivered to 75,000 subscribers nationwide and coupled with an online publishing portal,, that delivers recovery information, survivor feedback and stories, as well as encouragement to many.
  • Comeback Strong Mobile App and FoodSmarts App: With support of partners these and other customizable mobile apps are developed for stroke survivors and caregivers based on their feedback and needs.  Available for Apple and Android users.
  • Dysphagia and Aphasia Programs & Resources: A dedicated information source that includes patient education resources for dysphagia and aphasia.
  • LEAP: The Lifelong Education and Advocacy Program is a four-module program designed to be delivered by healthcare professionals to stroke survivors and caregivers.
  • Careliving: Our online Careliving Community aims to empower caregivers to also care for themselves by providing a place for discussion, connection and support.
  • Stroke Advocacy Activities: We have more than 15,000 active advocacy members who are actively involved with or deeply interested in nationwide stroke advocacy and legislative efforts.
  • Comeback Trails and Come Back Strong: a movement to raise stroke awareness supported by the Comeback Trail, a series of 5K walks and “fun-runs” hosted annually across the nation to raise awareness and empower stroke survivors to come back strong.
  • Spasticity Alliance: The Spasticity Alliance aims to raise awareness about spasticity, empower people living with spasticity, and serve as a resource hub for information about spasticity, condition management, and treatment.
  • Monthly Clinical Journal called Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases” that includes stroke recovery research from all over the world and is delivered to thousands of MDs, nurses and rehab professionals internally

Every day we hear stories about how a stroke has affected survivors and their families and we are touched deeply by their courage and determination. We ask you to help us to continue to provide resources to so many in need. Are you a stroke survivor? We would love to learn more about your story.

Make a tax-deductible gift today and help us support the urgent and growing needs of the stroke community. It is not just large donations that count; gifts starting at $25 make a big impact!

For more information about the National Stroke Association contact us at 1-800-STROKES (787-6537)

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For over 30 years we have been the trusted source for free resources and education to the stroke community. Together, we empower survivors and their circle of care to thrive after stroke. Make your tax-deductible donation today to support the growing needs of the stroke community.