STROKES can affect anyone; a fact all too well known to North Perth resident Marissa Iaconi.
Both Ms Iaconi’s parents suffered strokes, and having seen what they went through and knowing the battles many people will face, she’s naturally concerned for her own health.
“I used to think I’m invincible but I’m actually not – none of us are”, she says.
Starting on November 1 she will be heading to her local parks and streets as part of Stride4Stroke, a fundraiser for The Stroke Foundation. Her goal is to walk 50 kilometres in one month.
Ms Iaconi says Stride4Stroke is just one way she’s taking better care of her health.
She is also doing the Heart Foundation walk this month (another 50ks) and has been watching for “hidden sugars” in her diet.
Being diagnosed with hypertension and high blood pressure has been an “eye opener”, Ms Iaconi says.
Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability.
Ms Iaconi’s father had one of the more severe cases. He was injured in a bus crash 20 years ago and suffered a stroke in hospital following the incident, dying shortly afterwards.
Her mother’s stroke was considered “minor” 30 years ago and Ms Iaconi says she recovered quickly.
“She still thinks that she has some lacking of memory here or there, but that could just be from her age now,” Ms Iaconi said.
Although Ms Iaconi is keeping her fundraising between family and friends, she wants to get the message out about looking after yourself to ward off a stroke, but also be aware of the symptoms so people know what to do if someone around them suffers from one.
by ALEX MURFETT