THE National Stroke Foundation is urging local residents to take the challenge and raise awareness to prevent stroke this National Stroke Week which runs from September 14 to 20.
In Ballarat Ron Chapman, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Ballarat Health Services has organised ‘Walk for Stroke Awareness’ on Saturday 19th September at Lake Wendouree.
There will be a 6km or 3km walk and starts at 9.00am at the Botanical Gardens Lake side (directly opposite the rotunda).
Ron was impelled to organise the walk because he sees the damage daily that stroke does to its victims and their families. “The walk is to educate people and minimize the amount of strokes that are happening,” he said. “The statistics are shocking and a lot of people don’t realise that more people die from Stroke than breast cancer and also prostate cancer. It’s terrible and leaves patients with disabilities, those that survive and it also affects their families, friends and if you talk to people they always know someone who has been affected.”
Ron is so passionate about educating people about strokes that he has put in an enormous amount of time and effort into organising the walk but says if he can help lower the statistics then it has been worth all the hours.
“I see stroke patients every day and in many of those cases it was preventable,” he said.
“And that’s what the Stroke Foundation is advocating – Eat Well, Live Well and Get Checked.”
“I guess more so males because they are the ones less likely to go to their GP to have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.” Walkers do not need to register but Ron has organised wristbands so that he knows how many people have taken part. There is no fee but if people wish to do so they can make a donation or purchase a specially made badge just for the event. “We are hoping to sell those badges for $5 each and the money will be donated back into the Stroke Foundation.
“I have other staff members who are volunteering their services to assist on the day,” Ron said. “It is all going well and I would like to see it become an annual event. “