2018 RAISE Award: Outstanding Fundraising Effort

Diane Jelke, Michigan

When Diane Jelke’s daughter, Erin, had a stroke at age 23 while on vacation in Mexico, it became her mission to educate people about the warning signs of stroke and to let people know that stroke can happen to anyone at any age.

The first thing she did was organize Erin’s Walk in the Park which she hoped would draw 35 to 50 walkers. Instead, 100 walkers participated, raising more than $2,700 for the National Stroke Association. Diane had done everything from designing T-shirts and finding sponsors to asking businesses to donate gifts and she even made donuts the morning of the 5K.

Diane went on to set up a table at a school basketball game where she disseminated information about stroke, wrote facts about stroke that were read throughout the game, and held a raffle and silent auction that raised $349. But more importantly, she got out information about stroke to more than 1,500 people who attended the game.

A year after Erin’s stroke, her family visited the doctors who saved her life. The international patient liaison nurse asked the family to participate in a video which has had more than 1,400 views. “Thanks to my mom, I am fully recovered and able to live my life to the fullest,” says Erin.