Training to Treat Stroke

Deanne Stein Health Guide
  • I received an interesting email the other day. It was about the Train to End Stroke program. Each year, I attend various fundraisers for the American Heart Association, but I have never heard much about this one. Now, just as I’m learning about it, the AHA has decided to cancel it.

    In 1998, AHA created the American Stroke Association to focus solely on reducing the number of people suffering from the disability or death of a stroke. In 2001, Train to End Stroke (TTES) was created as the fund-raising program for ASA. It is the only AHA program where 100% of its proceeds go to stroke research.
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    In the past 5 years the program has raised over 36 million dollars and inspired over 200 stroke survivors to complete in a 1/2 or a full walking or running marathon. This year, 2.2 million dollars was raised for the Kona marathon and over 1 million was raised with the San Diego marathon.

    As of July, all affiliates lost its TTES teams. Not even with famous stroke survivors like Teddy Bruski, a NE Patriot, could save it.

    The email I received was from a participant from Team Philly. She tells me her team is devastated by the loss, as they will no longer be able to raise much needed funds for stroke research, education, and prevention program.

    TTES invited people, especially survivors, to walk or run a full or half marathon. The program coached you and sent you to these marathons each year. A different city was picked each year. This year, they held marathons in San Diego, California and Kona, Hawaii. The program had registered 30,000 participants, including 200 stroke survivors. These participants raised funds in the process.

    I contacted the AHS. Apparently with the number of people involved, there just wasn’t enough participation to keep it going. The AHS was spending as much as it was bringing in. In fact, last year, it showed only a one percent return. The marathons just wrapped up for the year, so now it’s over.

    I think it is important to get the word out about the stroke, the number three killer and leading cause of disability in America. This was one way we could. But, instead of dwelling on the loss, we should look forward to what else we can do in our lives, in our communities, to help others. The AHA will continue with the annual walks. I hope people will continue to participate in these walks and raise money. If not, I fear those walks could be next on the chopping block.

    It’s scary to think that these worthwhile associations could be gone, if people stop donating their money and time to them. So, please, continue to support the AHA. I know, as a survivor, I’m thankful it exists, and so will the next stroke survivor.
Published On: July 24, 2006