Survivor Hero: Deb Shaw

"I am humbled and grateful to be honored with the 2022 Survivor Hero Award. This has been a pivotal point in my life to dedicate my focus, first-hand experience, and commitment to helping the challenges of stroke worldwide.” – Deb Shaw

The root cause of Deb Shaw’s three strokes in 2016 and 2019 was never discovered, but they fueled a new purpose for her life. For her recovery journey, Deb employed a myriad of methods in addition to occupational and physical therapy. They included neuro acupuncture and acupressure, aquatic therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, health care virtual reality and balance classes.

She combined her therapy experiences and passion, becoming an advocate for stroke survivors. Deb decided sharing what she had discovered could be very helpful for stroke survivors.  She founded and is the CEO of Champion the Challenges, a California nonprofit in which she motivates people to pursue her 3 Ps of a successful recovery: Patience, Positivity and Practice.

Deb also mentors dozens of stroke survivors via calls and video conferences. And she’s an inspirational speaker for stroke support groups, hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

Last year, Deb was the co-chair and master of ceremony for the Golf 4 Life Event with the Pacific Stroke Association. She organized a panel of three stroke survivors to speak with the group of more than 175 attendees.

Deb also volunteers with several public and private companies, and leading universities innovating technology for stroke survivors. She has helped with hands-on practical applications, hardware and software testing, along with packaging and survivor usage guides.

Deb believes everything in life happens for a reason, and her life purpose is to help stroke survivors champion the challenges that accompany having a stroke.