Stroke survivors needed to share stories and save others
STROKE Survivor Sue Bowden is hoping to inspire other's in her position in the Coffs area to get out and help boost stroke awareness.
Stroke Foundation are looking for Coffs Harbour volunteers to join the StrokeSafe Ambassador Program to help them take potentially life-saving messages to community groups.
"I decided to become a StrokeSafe Ambassador to share my story, raise awareness of this devastating disease and to make a difference," Sue said explaining her role in the program supported by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
She said a training session will be held in October in Coffs and she urged stroke survivors to get involved.
"From experience, I know stroke not only impacts the individual, but has a flow on effect to families," she said.
"It can turn lives upside down when you least expect it.
"It's estimated there will be more than 520 strokes in the Coffs Harbour region this year alone, but more than 80 percent of strokes are preventable.
"I am passionate about educating people about the practical steps they can take to reduce their own stroke risk."
Stroke Foundation NSW State manager Terasa Howarth said stroke numbers in Coffs were high and she believed that StrokeSafe Ambassadors played a key role in educating the community on the FAST signs of stroke.
"StrokeSafe talks aim to ensure people understand a stroke is a medical emergency and fast treatment is vital to survival and recovery," Ms Howarth said.
"We hope more locals get involved in the program to help us raise awareness about stroke and save lives."
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chair Phil Neat is pleased to support this community led approach to building awareness in Coffs Harbour.
"Ambassadors can be from all walks of life, including stroke survivors, carers and health professionals," Mr Neat said.
"When someone talks from personal experience, it is incredibly powerful - and it could save lives."
If you're in Coffs Harbour and are interested in becoming a StrokeSafe Ambassador, please contact the Stroke Foundation on 1800787653 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To organise a StrokeSafe Ambassador for a local community group, go to strokefoundation.org.au.