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Strikes against Strokes: Third annual event raises money for Upstate Stroke Center

Two young participants take part in last year’s Strikes Against Stroke fundraiser at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool. The event raises money for the Upstate Stroke Center at Upstate Medical University.

Two young participants take part in last year’s Strikes Against Stroke fundraiser at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool. The event raises money for the Upstate Stroke Center at Upstate Medical University.

— Garcia said she wanted to have a different kind of event than a traditional walk or run, as there are already a number of those in the community.

“We chose bowling because stroke survivors as well as their families can participate,” she said. “Flamingo bowl offers ramps as well as bumper bowling that can accommodate those with special needs and can be utilized by everyone.”

What is a stroke?

A stroke has been called a “brain attack.” This happens when blood vessels in the brain are suddenly blocked or burst. Brain cells are denied blood and oxygen and begin to die, causing a wide variety of disabling symptoms and often permanent disability or death. There are two forms of stroke: ischemic, which occurs when there is a blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, and hemorrhagic, which occurs when there is bleeding into or around the brain. There is also TIA or transient ischemic attack, which is commonly called a “mini-stroke.”

Signs of a stroke

What are the warning signs of a stroke? Use the acronym “FAST” to remember these four major symptoms. If you notice them in yourself or someone around you, get medical help immediately.

F: Face: Ask the person to smile. Does the face look uneven? Does one side droop downward?

A: Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S: Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase, such as “The sky is blue.” Does their speech sound strange?

T: Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately

Source: MA Dept. of Health

Preventing a stroke

While there are some risk factors for stroke that are out of our control – things like age, hereditary risk, race and gender – there are a number of things we can do to reduce our chance of having a stroke.

Eat a healthy diet.

Quit smoking.

Reduce your alcohol intake.

Exercise regularly.

Visit your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

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