Make May Purple for Stroke

Written by: Andrea Cail, Director, Stroke Association

Published: 08/05/2017

Andrea tells us why the Stroke Association is asking people to Make May Purple as part of their annual awareness month.

Stroke remains Scotland’s third biggest killer. It is a devastating condition which usually happens without warning – and its effects can last a lifetime.

‘Make May Purple’ is our annual awareness month. We want everyone;
to recognise that stroke is a brain attack and needs to be treated as a medical emergency
to understand that strokes are preventable
to know that treatment and rehabilitation can lead to a good recovery
Stroke affects people of all ages, a quarter of all affected are under 65. However, our population demographic is changing – people are living longer lives, with one or more chronic conditions. As a result, Stroke incidence will increase. People with hypertension or atrial fibrillation are at increased risk.  We know that Type 2 Diabetes and obesity also increase risk.

There is an urgency to increase awareness of stroke – how to prevent, but also how to respond. We are working with people who have been affected by stroke to call for action.

Stewart from Wigtown said:

It is vital that people know what a stroke is, to recognise the symptoms of a stroke and to treat it as a medical emergency.  People think stroke only happens to old people – in fact, a quarter of strokes are happening to people of working age and under.

Julie Jackson from Glasgow said:

Having a stroke changed my life in an instant.  It wasn’t just my mobility that was affected, but I also had to deal with fatigue and the psychological impact of the stroke.  People don’t necessarily see these effects, but they can be just as challenging to deal with.

Eric Sinclair from Aberdeen said:

There are still too many people leaving hospital without the support they need.  Trying to rebuild your life after stroke is hard, but it is possible.  We need stroke to be recognised as a serious condition that needs more investment than it currently receives with buy-in from the decision-makers who can make positive change happen.

We want to mobilise support from everyone with an interest in stroke, to make stroke improvements and conquer the condition.  You can help by doing something ‘purple’ and help raise awareness of stroke.

‘Make May Purple’ is underway.  This year, we have a number of iconic buildings lighting up in purple including The Kelpies, SSE Hydro in Glasgow and Marischal College in Aberdeen.

Botanical Gardens across Scotland are highlighting the month with their purple flower displays and we have our annual ‘Step out for Stroke Walk’ accessible to all people of all ages and all abilities in Broughty Ferry

It’s not too late to get involved, so please Make May Purple and help to change the story for stroke survivors.

For more information, visit the Stroke Association website.

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