During tonight’s pregame ceremonies, we presented a special stroke symptom awareness event, “Strike Out Stroke”
Strike Out Stroke was born out of the non-profit organization, Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp. Stroke Camps began 10 years ago by Marylee Nunley and her husband John, a stroke survivor, who recognized the need for a weekend of relaxation, pampering, support, and camaraderie for stroke survivors, their families, and their care-givers. Since Stroke Camps humble beginning 10 years ago, it has grown to reach 12 states and continues to grow every camp season.
Through their work, Marylee and Larry Schaer, another Camp founder, found there was a great need in stroke education across the country, and thus the idea for Strike Out Stroke was born five years ago. The simple mission of Strike Out Stroke is to spread the F.A.S.T message across the country and greatly increase the number of stroke survivors who get to the hospital in time to get life-saving treatment. Strike Out Stroke continues to grow every summer, reaching over 20 professional baseball markets along with planning and creating new stroke awareness campaign across the country.
Stroke is an emergency, a brain attack cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and 800,000 strokes will occur in the United States this year. It is the number one cause of adult disability and the fourth leading cause of death. Stroke can happen to young and old.
We were honored to have stroke survivors from our community join us tonight.
Tom Pfeifer, now 71, was 58 at the time of his stroke. At the time, he was the director of Wisconsin Workforce Development. Unable to walk or talk after his stroke, with great determination and perseverance, Tom is now living independently. He is a huge sports fan and was honored to be on the field with his beloved Brew Crew.
Michelle Nelson was only 33 when she was struck by the first of her three strokes. Unable to return to her job in the paper mills following these devastating strokes, Michelle visits rehabilitation centers regularly to help other sin recovery and brings her dogs along to share the joy they bring nursing home residents.
Joe Romensco suffered a stroke at age 48. An avid bicyclist, Joe had just completed a 100-mile bike tour when he had his stroke. Following concentrated months of physical, occupational and speech therapy, today Joe is an active volunteer, helping other survivors experience freedom through adapative cycling.
Finally, Alan Schoenwetter, a stroke survivor who has overcome complete paralysis of his left side, was on hand to throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch as a representative of Strike Out Stroke.