The Stroke Foundation of Australia

Written by Barbara Gabogrecan, stroke victim

Stroke FoundationIt is just over two years since I had my stroke and brain tumour removal. But it was not until recently that I became aware of the associations that could assist me.

Today is World Stroke Day and the Stroke Foundation of Australia is asking us all to write to our Federal MP asking for the Federal Government to fund the National Action Plan for Stroke. You would probably be aware of the great TV ads that the Stroke Foundation ran, telling people how to recognise symptons of a stroke that a loved one may be experiencing.

It is called FAST

FFace – is it drooped?
AArm, can they lift both of them?
SSpeech is it slurred. Do they understand what you are saying?
T Time is critical – call OOO

You can read more about FAST on this website. My husband rang OOO because I did not understand what he was saying to me, so the FAST campaign certainly worked for us.

Almost 12,000 Australians who suffer a stroke each year cannot access basic stroke care. And people of all ages can suffer from a stroke. Young Adam had a stroke while still in the womb. Amazingly, his mother thought that was the problem, but the doctor said ‘That couldn’t happen to such a young child”…he was wrong. Everyone, including doctors, need to be more aware that anyone at all can suffer from a stroke.

What is particularly strange is that often, the person having the stroke does not realise what is happening because they still feel normal. A friend of mine got up during the night to go to the toilet and wondered why he could not open the bathroom door. He called his wife and she realised that his arm was paralised. He had had a stroke.

In my case, I was suffering from severe pain in the head and it turned out that was from the brain tumour (which I did not know I had); however, at the same time I had a stroke (the two were not connected at all). It was only because I did not understand what my husband was asking me that he recognised this as a system of a stroke – but I was only aware of the pain. Even when I could not answer the questions the doctor was asking me, I still did not feel as though anything was wrong! You can read more about exactly what happened to me.

There is a case of a young lady reporter on live TV who has a stroke and is not aware of what is happening. It is just unbelievable when you view what happened to her.

I know that the Stroke Foundation is there to help me and others suffering from a stroke, so I am prepared to help them too. Can you help? If you live in Australia and decide to write to your local federal member, you can find the contact details on our website by clicking here. The page also has tips on what to include in your letter.

Tips and Hints

Be aware of FAST if you are concerned about a loved one’s health. Write a letter to your Federal MP and ask for the government to fund the National Action Plan for Stroke. Visit the website of the Stroke Foundation of Australia.

32 thoughts on “The Stroke Foundation of Australia

  1. Peter

    Barbara, you are incredible!

    Having suffered a stroke and brain tumour yourself, your first priority in life is to help others. What a pity some of our politicians don’t follow your lead.

    You are a great example of one gutsy Aussie lady, taking on life’s challenges head on and beating them.

    You are a real inspiration to us all. Any organisation would be lucky to have you on board!

  2. james

    Wow, what an insightful article. I really agree about writing the government or national health association. Public sustained pressure is the only thing that will get the government to properly funded research and treatment of stroke victims

  3. Ana B.

    Great tip on the FAST symptoms. I’ve been in a situation where someone was having a stroke, and if I had known then about the FAST symptoms, I could have done a lot more to help them.

  4. Jennifer Merkley

    This article is very eye opening. I believe everyone should have the FAST information on their fridge and handy incase it ever happens to them. Great tip, thank you.

  5. Chris W.

    I had no idea that people can get a stroke at any age and that they might not even be aware that they are having one. I am definitely going to remember FAST. It sounds like it could be a real life-saver.

  6. Debbie Boulier

    Having a stroke is a very scary thing, and most people don’t understand what’s happening to them. FAST is an excellent way to recognize signs and therefore can call for help immediately. Time is extremely important if someone is having a stroke.

  7. Karen Payton

    Having the agencies/resources available is one thing but having access to them and ensuring that they are properly funded, equipped and staffed is another. Definitely opened my eyes and awareness to the subject matter. Thanks for the article!

  8. Mike Teberio

    I am really thankful for these people that do this because i have people in my family that have dealt with a lot of the same problems and i would give nothing more too do what you guys are doing thank you so much and can’t wait too read up on some other things you guys are offering .

  9. jinie lara

    Having suffered a stroke and brain tumor yourself, your first priority in life is to help others. What a pity some of our politicians don’t follow your lead.

    You are a great example of one gutsy Aussie lady, taking on life’s challenges head on and beating them.

    You are a real inspiration to us all. Any organization would be lucky to have you on board!

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. I have been spreading the word to as many folk as I can through my speaking engagements to Rotary and now Libraries. The more folk I can educate, the more people I may be able to help. I am sure when I am installed as an Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation, I will be able to do even more. Barb

  10. Chalene

    I love that people are finally opening their eyes to all of the signs of strokes, and noticing that it affects everyone differently. Stroke is definitely something that needs to be given more attention to!

  11. Austin

    Great article. Fast is definitely the most defining factors when dealing with a loved one’s healing health.Being vigilant and knowing the signs is a must.

  12. Carolyn Lee

    This is Great! When my Daddy had his stroke it wold have been nice to know the signs. Awesome info!

  13. S.B. Stewart-Laing (@sbstewartlaing)

    Thanks for posting that acronym. Hopefully I’ll never have to use it during the situation where someone I know is having a stroke, but it will certainly help me remember the critical signs.

  14. Will McCaig

    It is very inspiring to hear your story about how you suffered and conquered your stroke. it gives people hope that yes i can beat this and i can overcome it.

  15. Fred Arnold

    I will definitely write and hope it will work out for all that suffer this ailment. Best of luck to you all!

  16. Mona

    Thank you for writing this article and I wish you all the best in your recovery. The FAST mnemonic is excellent – so easy to remember, and could prove to be life-saving, so I thank you for sharing.

  17. Amy Honicker

    This blog is amazing, very helpful and very inspirational to those whom are victims of stroke and those who families are victims of stroke.

  18. Michelle Kafka

    Informative article. Good mnemonic device. Congrats to you for speaking out and making people aware. People can have mini strokes also, but whether small or big, I wish everyone the best of recovery!

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      My sister in law had over 200 mini strokes with no one realising what was happening. This was masked because she was also an alcoholic and family put it down o that.

  19. Jane

    Great article. I think the stroke foundation need to make people more aware of strokes and forthright. Some people are rather ignorant when it comes to these illnesses.

    1. Barbara Gabogrecan Post author

      It really is all about money Jane. These foundations are not for profit and they depend on Government funding for marketing, promotion etc. They have had help to publicise their F.A.S.T. campaign on TV and they have just had another campaign where they have had folk do a free blood pressure test (as this can cause a stroke) and are selling a wrist band for folk to wear and get more attention and awareness of strokes. They also have Stroke Ambassadors who speak at public functions (each Ambassador at least 10 times a year) – this is just a few ways they try to let the general public know more about strokes.

  20. Karen Rumps

    I am amazed at how you were able to take something so bad and bring a positive note to it!

  21. Shella

    I see a lot of interesting articles on your website. You obviously spend a lot of time writing. Thank you.


Leave a Reply to Lance Gane Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.