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Advocate Highlight: Mark Dunham

 

Mark Dunham, Idaho

I have been a lobbyist in Idaho since 1984. I was the CEO of the Idaho Association of REALTORS for almost 20 years, BSU’s lobbyist for 3 years, the Vice President of IACI, and starting in November of 2007, I was the Executive Director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors.

On January 10, 2012, I was getting ready for work when I had a stroke. Three days later I had another massive stroke that left me paralyzed on my right side. That was devastating, but the worst part was that I could not communicate at all. Imagine being trapped in your head wondering if I would die and leave my wife and my 6 year old son.

I was in St. Al’s for 18 days, and then I had many months of intensive therapy just so I could talk. My paralysis subsided, but I still have vision loss. Even now, I go to therapy two days a week.

I was a healthy 50 year old when my strokes happened. I assumed that strokes happened to “old people who smoked and were not healthy.”

Second chances in life are rare. I believe that I can help survivors and their families by spreading the word that a stroke can happen to anyone.

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