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Advocate Spotlight - Scott Kowalski, Stroke Survivor

Meet Scott Kowalski, an AHA Board Member & Stroke Survivor!

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What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?

On May 12th of 2014, I suffered a stroke in my driveway. It obviously changed my life, and how I look at life. At the time, I didn’t know how things would turn out for me. I worried about my kids and was deeply concerned that my wife would have to care for me for the rest of our lives. Once I fully recovered from my stroke, I vowed to make others aware of the risks associated with stroke, and how to identify the typical characteristics of a stroke. Then I joined the AHA Board.

What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?

Certainly, bringing awareness to the impact that staying healthy has on stroke prevention. Managing blood pressure, limiting salty foods and alcohol intake, not smoking and staying active, all contribute greatly to reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. If people can just take baby steps on each of these, they can reduce the likelihood of a cardiac-related event by many percentage points.

What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?

There have been a few, but I think leading the Executive Challenge for last year’s heart walk was a highlight. We fell short of the overall goal for the walk, but I was very grateful and appreciative of so many friends and colleagues for their support for our efforts.

What is your favorite way to be active?

Cycling and swimming are my favorite ways to be active. I really enjoy the camaraderie of biking with my friends in a group, and swimming is a great cardio workout without all the stress on my joints. I just like to be moving constantly. Walking with my wife and running around with my kids is also something that never grows old.

What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

I really don’t care for vegetables, but when I do eat them, I would say corn and carrots are my favorite. I like to think I make up for my lack of vegetable intake by exercising more and eliminating salt and carbonated drinks from my diet.

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