Inspiring Trip to the 2020 International Stroke Conference!

We were very honored recently when Stephanie Mohl, VP of the American Stroke Association (ASA), invited us to present Identity Theft to the ASA National Advisory Committee. They were meeting in Los Angeles on the day before the start of the 2020 International Stroke Conference, one of the ASA’s largest annual gatherings (more on that below.)

We were thrilled to share our story with the Committee.  In addition to the book, we had the opportunity to present our focus  with Stroke Forward on the importance of the emotional jour

ney as a critical part of stroke recovery – including the rebuilding of identity as a foundational step toward creating  rewarding lives after stroke. We also joined the rest of their agenda including, among other things, a discussion about the long term (2030) impact goals for ASA.  It was great to learn more about these goals which, we are pleased to say, include an increased commitment to health equity and health-related quality of life.

Next on the agenda were working sessions for the committee’s three subcommittees – Prevention, Acute Treatment, and Rehab and Recovery.  We joined the last of those subcommittees for more than an hour — a chance to discuss with some incredible practitioners how the emotional journey might be better included in standards of care for stroke recovery, and support some of the programs they are considering for the ASA.  The insights and suggestions from the Advisory Committee leave us with many great ideas– ones that will help us deepen the impact of Stroke Forward on the nearly seven million stroke survivors in the US and their families.

We were also invited by Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, to join a series of special experiences at the start of the 2020 International Stroke Conference (ISC) the following day.  The ISC brings together the world’s leading experts to share breaking research, treatment advancements and the latest news surrounding how we prevent and treat stroke.  After the opening plenary, we joined a luncheon that included a panel sharing some of the exciting work the ASA, and the panelists individually, are doing to help prevent and treat stroke.

Over dessert we enjoyed inspiring remarks from Christopher Ewing – a stroke survivor from LA.  He shared his journey from TV producer and show jumper, to completely dependent stroke survivor, back to a full life that includes the creation of The Stroke Channel.TV – launched to “help other stroke survivors recover and get their lives back.”  We had the pleasure of talking with Christopher and his wonderful mom before and after his talk, and look forward to exploring how we can work together in the future.

All in all it was an extraordinary two days.  When we created Stroke Forward, we believed that our greatest impact would come through collaboration. We are thrilled to have experienced  this very special window into the work of the American Stroke Association — an organization that has been providing powerful programs around awareness, research, advocacy and direct support for almost 100 years.  Needless to say, we returned home from our two days in LA feeling truly inspired.

Debra and Steve