From a single weekend stroke caregiver and survivor retreat to a nationwide stroke support mission
In Episode 56, we sat down with the United Stroke Alliance (USA) Co-Founder and Executive Director Marylee Nunley and CEO Larry Schaer to discuss how this dynamic duo has grown the alliance from a single person in a single community, to its expansion and now having offered 300 Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camps throughout the country. The Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp program (now a division of the USA) was first developed in 2004 by Marylee & John Nunley (Founders) following John’s stroke in 2001. We discuss the USA team’s stroke support outreach efforts and how they have extended into communities throughout the country with their stroke awareness and prevention programs. The team estimates they have now educated millions of people on the signs of stroke as well as have supported thousands of stroke survivors, caregivers and their family members in their stroke recovery journeys.
About the United Stroke Alliance
The United Stroke Alliance (USA) team is made up of passionate individuals who tirelessly strive to make a difference in not only stroke survivors and caregivers lives, but also for the members of every community through their stroke awareness and prevention programs. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the USA, which was founded in 2004 when one stroke caregiver, (Co-Founder Marylee Nunley) wanted to improve the quality of life for local stroke survivors and caregivers through a weekend retreat.
In addition to taking a deep dive into the stroke camp experience for caregivers and stroke survivors on this episode, we also highlighted their Stroke Out Stroke Program at ballparks country wide to raise awareness for their BE-FASTER! campaign to know stroke warning signs and take action through emergency response and 911. We also mentioned the work of their Youth Education on Stroke (YES) initiative to extend this important BE-FASTER! message into the public schools with brain and health curriculum focused on stroke awareness and prevention.
Finally we covered the financial challenges of growing stroke awareness and survivor support programs and the stigma associated with this condition that often does not get the attention of other disorders and diseases that have more research dollars, celebrity star power and funding to support their continued growth and development.
Of Note: Larry challenged Mike to take the ‘cookie challenge’ at the end of the episode! Check out the show resources to learn more and support the Alliance and their mission.
Mentions and Resources for this Episode:
To learn more about the United Stroke Alliance and make a donation please visit their website: https://unitedstrokealliance.org/
Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp https://unitedstrokealliance.org/our-programs/stroke-camp
BE-FASTER Cookie Challenge! https://www.cookiechallenge.org/
Music intro credit to Jake Dansereau. Our intro welcome is the voice of Caroline Goggin, a stroke survivor and our first podcast guest! Please listen to her inspiring story on Episode 2 of the podcast.
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