Neurons are the cells that allows communication through the whole body. Every breath, thought, memory or even sensation you have experienced have been processed through the billons neurons that resides in your brain. Could you imagine having these be taken away from you?
On August 8th 2015, my mother suffered from a major ischemic stroke affecting her right brain hemisphere which paralyzed the left side of her body. Every single second counted, the more time we waited, the greater the brain damage. My father and I were miraculously blessed to have found my mother within an appropriate timeframe to minimize any major damages related to the deprivation of the blood/oxygen supply to the brain. I am extremely grateful and proud to say that she is a survivor.
The road to recovery wasn’t easy, not only for my mother but also for every family member involved. Waking up one seemly normal Saturday morning to find someone so precious to you in such a vulnerable state is truly terrifying and heartwrenching. One of the hardest challenge I had to overcome, was the shock of seeing my mother’s frustration and struggle through recovery. The simplest tasks that come unconsciously to you, like walking, processing and organizing thoughts or even a simple circular motion with your left arm, became a challenge for my mom. It became tasks that not only drained her physically but also emotionally. A brain injury can alter the way you think, the way you act, to even the way you perceive things. Although the small changes in her day to day life, one thing is for sure; my mother would keep her inner-strength and be able to recover at a remarkable pace; in order to continue to be the same kick-ass warrior she had always been before her stroke.
This marked me by forcing me to see life through a different lens. I’ve come to learn that stroke is a disease where there aren’t any magic pills to make all the repercussions disappear. The only cure is the brain’s own capacity to heal, adapt and change, also known as neuroplasticity. Unfortunately, little do we know about this plasticity….
Ever since that afternoon in the hospital, my curiosity for the human mind grew immensely and drove me to try uncover the profound truth behind neuroplasticity. Since then, I have greatly increased my knowledge on the brain itself, and most importantly was accepted to contribute in research in the neuroscience field myself. I am extremely passionate of the effect of the brain on the body and mind and am extremely motived and determined to raise money for a cause that is incredibly near and dear to my heart and also for a cause whom I’ve come to understand its weight on every stroke victim.
Being involved directly in research, I see its importance in the medical field. Unfortunately, I also acknowledge its cost being sky high.
Now this is where I need your help.
On June 4th 2017, my mom and I will be participating in the Heart and Stroke charity fundraiser, Ride for Heart. I am riding for not only my mom but also for everyone whose simple neurons have affected the way they think, behave, or move after a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability. Please help me raise money to help advancement in stroke by investing in life-saving research and supporting a cause that I am most truly passionate about. Let’s combat stroke once and for all.