One morning at age 37, just four months before my wedding, I started to feel dizzy and tired; an extreme headache came on; and I lost feeling on my left side. I had no known risk factors but my fiancée quickly realized I was having a stroke. At the hospital a CT scan revealed I was having a hemorrhagic stroke. I was a medical mystery; doctors could not determine what caused it. The stroke took my lower left quadrant vision, feeling on my entire left side, and caused spasticity in my left hand. With hard work, determination, and complete love and support from my fiancé Michael, I learned to walk again and we were able to walk down the aisle four months later together on our wedding day. Working on my physical recovery, I pushed myself with goals beyond what I thought was possible. Since my stroke, I have completed several 5K runs and even a half marathon. I don’t limit myself. Most of us let the fear of not succeeding at something, hold us back from trying. Keep pushing yourself to the next finish line. There’s no end to our potential. I advocate for stroke survivors across the country, sharing information with elected officials about healthcare and other public policies and the impact they have on stroke survivors and caregivers.
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