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Take 2 to Save 2 aimed at saving lives

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Life is a precious gift and so are loved ones. The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, has launched a campaign that provides people an array of life-changing health messages to send to those who may be at risk for stroke. This is the perfect time to take steps to help save the life of someone you love.

Take 2 To Save 2 – part of the Power To End Stroke campaign reaching African Americans – calls for people to take two minutes to text two loved ones “Take 2” to “64244.” The text sends a personalized health message to recipients that could help save their lives. Also, participants can get viral messages to send via a phone call, e-mail, Facebook, or other formats.

Mark McEwen, network television news veteran, was enjoying life at the top of his game when he suffered a stroke. In 2005, while traveling, he experienced symptoms that led him to the hospital. Two days later, he was diagnosed as having suffered two strokes.

“I’m taking two minutes to reach out to two friends today and you should, too,” said McEwen, American Stroke Association spokesperson and former CBS Early Show weatherman. “Take two minutes to send two messages and help save lives.”

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability in the United States.

“Think about two people you care about who smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of heart disease or stroke,” said Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, American Heart Association president. “People with these risk factors have a greater chance of being disabled or dying from a stroke. People who have already suffered a stroke or heart attack are at higher risk for another one. This campaign will make more people aware of their risk for stroke and it only takes two minutes.”

African Americans are at particularly high risk due to increased risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and family history of heart disease or stroke. In fact, about 100,000 African Americans will suffer a stroke this year.

“Too many African Americans continue to have unrelenting exposure to known important risk factors for stroke,” Yancy said. “This is a cause for alarm and a trend we need to stop now. The idea that we can give hundreds of thousands of people a chance to live longer and better lives – that’s the greater good.”

In addition to participating in Take 2 To Save 2, people are encouraged to talk to their doctors to determine if they have health risks and to follow the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 to prevent a stroke. The seven steps – found at www.heart.org/mylifecheck – are: Get active, eat better, lose weight, stop smoking, control cholesterol, manage blood pressure and reduce blood sugar.

For more information about the Take 2 To Save 2 campaign, log on to PowerToEndStroke.org/take2.

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