Group Heroes: International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke (IAPS)

“On behalf of pediatric stroke families worldwide and the board of IAPS, we are honored to accept the Group Heroes award! We are grateful for the recognition this brings to the babies, children, and teens impacted by stroke. These warriors and their families are the true heroes!” – Mary Kay Ballasiotes, International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke, Executive Director

Many people, including some health care professionals, don’t realize that children can have strokes. Yet, stroke is one of the top 10 causes of death among children in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. Early diagnosis is critical and can dramatically affect outcomes.

That’s why the International Alliance for Pediatric Stroke, led by parents of affected children, has for the past decade raised awareness and provided support for families shocked by a life-altering diagnosis.

Under the leadership of Mary Kay Ballasiotes, the organization advocates for pediatric stroke to professional societies and state and federal governments.

For families, the IAPS has created and distributed educational materials, including a pediatric stroke fact sheet, video series and a Pediatric Stroke Family Tool Kit with a Spanish translation.

The organization’s website allows families to share their stories and gain inspiration.

The IAPS also organizes an annual online Pediatric Stroke Awareness Campaign in May, reaching more than 60,000 people on Facebook and Twitter.