OCCUPATION: Mom and active volunteer for all things heart, stroke and Moyamoya.
HOMETOWN: I’m from Rhode Island and now live in North Attleboro, MA after fourteen years living in Washington, DC.
WHAT IS YOUR CLAIM TO FAME? I’m fortunate and blessed to have survived four strokes with my first occurring at age 21. I also overcame two brain bypass surgeries last year.
HOW MANY CHILDREN? We have two kids- a nine year old daughter and a seven year old son.
HOW DO YOU EAT WELL AS A MOM ON THE GO? Eating well as a mom on the go is a constant challenge. I try to have healthy snacks with me at all times and try to have a plan for the week ahead for lunch and dinner. Water is also an essential component of staying healthy- especially as a Moyamoya patient.
WHAT FOOD CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT? Admittedly, I cannot live without chocolate.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLEAN MEAL? Lately I’ve been enjoying salads in a jar (that I can prepare ahead of time) as well as different quinoa dishes.
WHAT’S YOU FAVORITE EXERCISE? I have gone easy since my brain surgeries last year but enjoy walking. In the past, my favorite exercises were Boot Camp classes because they remind me of playing sports in my high school days. I hope to get back to them as I continue my recovery. I also love playing tennis because it’s social, competitive and fun.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED? I use surviving my strokes and brain surgeries as motivation. I take full advantage of being alive because I wasn’t well for so long.
IF YOU COULD ONLY OFFER ONE TIP TO A MOM TRYING TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I am that mom trying to get back in shape!! After being inactive for the past year due to my fourth stroke and brain surgeries, I am following my own advice: just get started and stay the course. Small incremental changes along with the accountability and support of my friends or family is the best way to get back in shape.
WHEN YOU FEEL UNMOTIVATED WHAT DO YOU DO? I reach out to friends to make plans to walk, take a class or play tennis if I need the added push to get moving.
HOW HAS TRANFORMING YOURSELF PHYSICALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE?
Throughout my lifetime, I have to consistently overcome fatigue, disability, surgical recovery and rehabilitation. Each time I have faced a stroke, disease diagnosis or surgery, I have had to rebuild my physical and emotional strength. Fortunately, I don’t give up and have always been able to overcome. I rely on these experiences to do it time and time again.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE? DO YOU HAVE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM OR ADVICE, POSSIBLY SOMETHING THAT HELPED YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
Never give up. Believe in yourself. Accept help. Always remember that you are stronger than you think. Keep smiling.
WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT STROKE? Stroke does not discriminate. Recognizing the symptoms of stroke and acting FAST is critical. Trust your instincts and take action when you spot stroke symptoms. (FAST: F- Face drooping. A – Arm weakness. S-Speech Difficulty. T-Time to call 911.)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE PART OF THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION/AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION’S STROKE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN?
I have been a volunteer with the American Stroke Association for over 15 years. Educating and inspiring others has become my life’s purpose. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this campaign. I’m fortunate to be able to turn my challenging health issues into something positive. And I’ve always wanted to lift a car. 😉
Stay connected with Lisa!
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*Image Copyright: AHA/ASA
We have more inspirational tips from another Stroke Hero, Tamkia Quinn!