On her 31st wedding anniversary, Kathy Howard had a stroke. The stroke may have ruined her anniversary, but she’ll be the first one to tell you that it saved her life. Now, five years later at the age of 60, she is a different person—armed with knowledge, determination, courage and hope.
Looking back, Kathy understands that she had several risk factors. Being overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle and having high blood pressure and high cholesterol put her at risk of having not only a stroke, but also a heart attack. She also understands that having a stroke did not decrease her risk of having another. After her stroke, she vowed to fight for her life and to get healthy.
Today, Kathy leads by example. Her cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes are under control. She lost weight, eats healthy and stays physically active.
Realizing that occurrence of stroke in her community is extremely high, Kathy decided to make her community more aware of stroke risks, signs and symptoms. She is the founder of ABC Brigade, an organization comprising stroke survivors, families of survivors and professionals in the field of stroke and neurology. They are committed to raising awareness though community events.
Kathy strongly feels that even though post-stroke recovery is difficult, one can never give up and that it’s still possible to have a wonderful life after a stroke.