Thursday, May 27, 2010

Advocates Raise Awareness about Pediatric Stroke on Capitol Hill

On Tuesday May 25, 2010, the American Heart Association, and other pediatric stroke groups hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill. The event helped raise awareness about the occurrence of stroke in infants and children and educate the audience of congressional staff about the need to increase research funding and improve access to quality care for these young patients.

Sue Nelson, Vice President of Federal Advocacy with the American Heart Association joined three You’re the Cure advocates in delivering this important message. Michelle Ballasiotes, a 12-year-old stroke survivor and life-long AHA volunteer, spoke about the challenges of her day-to-day life, and the importance of investing in research. In addition to Ballasiotes, Dr. Steve Roach, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology and Vice-Chair of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and Jessica Spear, co-founder of Brendon’s Smile and a parent of a stroke survivor, shared their expertise and personal story.

Although stroke is often viewed as occurring primarily in the elderly, it also strikes infants, children, young adults and can even occur before birth – and with equally devastating results. Special thanks should go to these three amazing volunteers for speaking up about this important issue!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Childrens Hemiplegia and Stroke Association and Pediatric Stroke Netork for sponsoring this!

We need to get the word out that Kids Do Have Strokes!!

Mary Kay said...

Actually, CHASA and PSN did not sponsor this briefing. Both groups were asked to publicize the briefing that the AHA/ASA put together. The goal was to get as many members of congress (or their staffers) to attend as possible by sending invitations to congressmen. It was not an event open to the public.

Jessica Spear said...

I want to thank the AHA/ASA for inviting Brendon's Smile...Raising Awareness for Childhood Stroke to co-sponsor the briefing. Also, if it wasn't for the hard work and kindness of the individuals involved from the AHA the event would have never been possible! What an honor and a priveledge to be invited to share my heart and continue my mission by being invited to speak on Capitol Hill at the briefing! Thank you AHA!

Mickey said...

I want to thank the AHA/ASA for finally bring attention to pediatric stroke. I also want to thank Michelle Ballasiotes and Jessica Spear for their tireless work on the behalf of pediatric stroke. I have known Michelle for a number of years and as she grows up, she is maturing into a wonderful young lady who is passionate about stroke, and wants to help increase pediatric stroke awareness, but at the same time, she does not let it control her life either.

Great job Michelle and Jessica!!