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Stroke Across America: Only 500 Miles Remain in 4,300-Cycling Journey to Raise Awareness for Stroke & Aphasia

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Press Release


Aug 18, 2022 13:15 EDT

What do two educators, a nonprofit executive, and a former varsity soccer college athlete have in common? Brain Injury. They join the more than 5.3 million people living in the United States with brain injuries that have left them with disabilities. 

Twelve weeks ago, this group launched their bikes from Astoria, Oregon, intent on raising awareness about stroke, aphasia, brain injury, and the subsequent emotional recovery. Known as Stroke Across America, this 4,300-mile cycling route was designed to enable the team to visit cities across the country to connect and celebrate stories of hope and resilience. “What a joy it has been to spend the summer meeting new people, many stroke survivors and those who support them, especially after two long, isolating years of living in the COVID pandemic,” said former college professor, stroke survivor, and author Debra Meyerson. 

Community events remain for Albany, New York (Aug. 19), and Northampton, Massachusetts (Aug. 24), with a final celebration hosted by Boston University’s Sargent College on Aug. 27 in Boston.  

Fulfilling a Lifelong Dream and Pedaling for a Purpose

For Steve Zuckerman, a nonprofit executive and father of three adult children with his wife Debra Meyerson, cycling has been a lifelong way to stay active. Cycling across the country has been on their “bucket list” for decades. So when Debra, a Stanford University professor, experienced a severe stroke in 2010, it changed their lives forever. But Meyerson and Zuckerman have refused to let the disabilities that Debra has from her stroke, including aphasia, stop them from living life to the fullest. Aphasia forced Meyerson from her job at Stanford, but with help from Steve, her son Danny, and others, she wrote Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke. The couple also co-founded the nonprofit Stroke Onward to ensure stroke survivors and their supporters have the resources needed to rebuild identities and rewarding lives. 

Steve and Debra could have easily organized a cycling trip to enjoy a cross-country journey alone. But knowing how powerful it is to connect with others and the importance of raising awareness about stroke and aphasia, they were inspired to think much bigger. “We knew that sharing our story and meeting others to learn about their experiences had the potential to spark needed change in the healthcare system to better meet the needs of stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors everywhere,” said Zuckerman and Meyerson. 

Debra and Steve are joined by two other survivors on this ride: Michael Obel-Omnia and Whitney Hardy. The Stroke Across America team invites everyone to Join the Journey by visiting strokeacrosseamerica.org or @strokeonward on Instagram.

Go here for the long-form press release, photos, and video assets. For interviews, please contact Flannery O’Neil, Executive Director, Cell: 602-317-8095, email: flannery@strokeonward.org

Source: Stroke Across America

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