Family Copes With Tragedy, Takes Action After Mom, Brother, Aunt Suffer Strokes: Lecture Series Welcomes Gorelik to Support Stroke Research and Screening at University of Iowa

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When tragedy struck the Stoppelmoor family, it didn't discriminate based on age or gender. It started with the middle-aged mother, Shirley, who suffered a massive stroke and died at 56. Next, it was her son, Steve, who succumbed to a massive stroke at 37 -- but lived. The final victim was Shirley's sister, Donna, who also survived but with visible reminders that are still with her today. Thanks to Shirley's husband, Wayne Sr., The Shirley A. Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund was created to honor the memory of Shirley as a way to build community awareness and understanding about stroke, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention. This week, the Stoppelmoor Lecture Series will welcome Dr. Philip Gorelik in support of stroke research and screening at the University of Iowa on Friday, July 17th.

If nothing else, we hope the Shirley A. Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund is able to educate individuals and families like ours about stroke prevention and treatment, so they're able to lead full and productive lives beyond their period of recovery.

The Stoppelmoor family story is one of tragedy and triumph. It is also a story that its family members want to share publicly with as many people as they can. To that end, on Friday, July 17th, the Stoppelmoor Lecture Series will welcome Dr. Philip Gorelik to campus in support of stroke research and screening at the University of Iowa. The lecture is part of an ongoing educational series sponsored by the Shirley A. Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund, created to build community awareness and understanding about stroke, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

By way of background, the Stoppelmoor family had it all…a loving, nurturing, and highly capable mother; a bright, successful, well-respected father; five smart, athletic, popular children; and Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins whom they all adored. Then, with little warning, tragedy struck. First, Shirley Stoppelmoor, the youthful, energetic, matriarch of the family, suffered a massive stroke and died at the age of 56. Then, one of her sons, Steve, a young husband and father himself, succumbed to a massive stroke at the age of 37 -- but with the help of his wife, knew the warning signs and took the immediate actions step needed to seek proper medical attention. If that wasn't tragedy enough for one family, Shirley's sister, Donna, suffered yet another stroke - but like her Nephew, was fortunate enough to be with a family member to take quick action to ensure proper treatment was administered within the critical minutes following the stroke.

Shirley wasn't as lucky as her Son and Sister. Even though she sought medical attention to help identify the cause of her nagging fatigue during the weeks leading up to her stroke, it wasn't enough to prevent the devastating event that ended her life far too early and abruptly. Steve was more fortunate. Today, he exhibits no visible signs of having suffered a stroke. Instead, he lives a normal life, but one in which he can't help but wonder if it will happen again. Shirley's sister didn't fare quite as well as her nephew. Today, she bares some visible reminders of her stroke that are likely to stay with her for the rest of her life.

For a family that has endured the tragedy and wrath of stroke not once, but three times, there was little choice but to take quick action designed to honor Shirley's memory and establish a much-needed initiative to build community awareness and understanding about stroke, its symptoms, treatment, and prevention. With generous support from Shirley's husband, Wayne Sr., the Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund was established in the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine.

Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Harold Adams, a renowned neurologist dedicated to stroke prevention, treatment, and research at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine, there have been several visiting lectures addressing a host of stroke-related topics by renowned medical experts. This Friday's lecture by Dr. Philip Gorelick, Professor and Head of Neurology and Rehabilitation, Director, Stroke Research at the University of Illinois in Chicago, is no exception. Titled Vascular Cognitive Impairment: New Insights, the lecture will be held from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. CST at the Damasio Conference Center. Following the lecture, participants will better understand the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases.

According to Wayne Stoppelmoor, Sr., "The debilitating effects from stroke can be minimized if victims and their family members understand the warning signs and symptoms of stroke, as well as the need to seek urgent medical attention within the critical period immediately following the stroke." Stoppelmoor added, "If nothing else, we hope the Shirley A. Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund is able to educate individuals and families like ours about stroke prevention and treatment, so they're able to lead full and productive lives beyond their period of recovery."

About The Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund

With stroke being the leading cause of disability in the United States, the mission of the Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund is to save lives and minimize disability through prevention and research. Housed within the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine, the Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund is dedicated to expanding the medical community understanding of stroke, particularly among children and young adults. Through two major initiatives, one focused on the design of clinical trials to test treatments for stroke in children, and the other to develop a much-needed visiting lecture series, significant strides are being made to address the Fund's mission-focused work. To learn more about the Shirley A. Stoppelmoor Stroke Research Fund and / or to find out how you can help support its efforts, please visit the University of Iowa Foundation at http://www.uifoundation.org/campaign/report/newsletters/2003-12.pdf or Shirley's Hope at http://www.poststrokehope.blogspot.com.

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