Stroke is no Joke run/walk raises awareness
Organizer Adams hopes people will remember the mantra ‘Time lost is brain lost.’
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
October 17, 2012
Courtenay Marvin Adams was running on the Snake River Dike on Oct. 13, 2005, when black dots began to cloud her vision.
Adams, who was 41 years old at the time, was, in her words, “an experienced cyclist and runner” who liked to run up Pikes Peak and biked Teton Pass regularly.
It occurred to her that maybe she was having a stroke, but she quickly brushed this improbable idea aside.
She was too young for a stroke, and she was healthy, or so she thought. She continued running. One mile later, she collapsed.
Seven years later, her biggest regret is not having turned around. Had she listened to her body, she may have been able to get help more quickly and avoid paralysis in half of her body.
Adams started Courtenay’s Stroke is no Joke 5-kilometer Run and Walk with the hope of spreading stroke awareness and raising money for St. John’s Medical Center visiting neurology program.
Saturday, 35 people ran or walked the 5k race on the west side of the Snake River Bridge. Their entry fees, as well as money raised in a raffle, help support a neurologist who visits St. John’s Medical Center twice a month and a telehealth program that allows the same neurologist to monitor people more frequently from Salt Lake City.
Matt Chorney won the race with a time of 17 minutes 4 seconds. Sinead O’Dwyer was the first female finisher with at time of 21:21.
Julia Heemstra, one of the race’s organizers and a wellness coordinator at St. John’s, said she was most impressed by the support from family and friends of stroke survivors she saw at the race, as well as the range of ages represented.
A quarter of strokes occur in people younger than 65. Warning signs include sudden weakness or numbness in the face or on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, difficulty seeing, trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination and severe headaches.
If a person begins feeling any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
“Time lost is brain lost,” is one of the mantras Adams hopes people will remember. Spotting a stroke early can greatly diminish the damage caused by a stroke and may — in extreme instances — save a life.