West Seattleite Stephanie Gerding was in for the fight of her life after two strokes in the middle of the night sent her to the hospital.
While there, she says in this online profile, she wondered if her life was about to end, too soon – until her husband put a photo of their 10-year-old daughter at her bedside. “That was the moment I knew not fighting for my life, not being there as her mom, was not an option. This was not the end for me.”
That was three years ago. But stroke recovery is not the same as simply getting over an illness: “I wish doctors told us recovery is a lifelong journey so we would have a more inclusive and optimistic outlook.” Nonetheless, she sets goals – and one of those was to be in the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk, raising money for the American Heart Association. Last year was her first one. This year, it’s happening virtually, culminating this Saturday, and she’s participating again. Her husband Patrick Gerding wanted us to know, describing his wife as “a local hero.” You can support her, or participate yourself. As Stephanie describes it, it’s a matter of investing “in hope for a future with fewer strokes.”
P.S. Knowing the symptoms of stroke can save your life or that of someone you love.