Power Weekend

Sherri Holman & Dr. Terri Kennedy

Sherri Holman & Dr. Terri Kennedy

THE BUZZ… This weekend I had the honor of leading two workshops for the American Heart Association’s Power Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a forum for key opinion leaders ”Power Ambassadors” to network and share ideas for propelling AHA’s “Power To End Stroke” movement forward. It also unveiled successes and awarded Ambassadors who have dramatically heightened stroke awareness among African Americans. I shared the “7 Rules of PWR Eating” with Power Ambassadors from across the country. The Word Network was a media sponsor, so the gospel music was plentiful. BeBe Winans sang and I got a chance to say hello to him again after many years. Needless to say, it was a powerful weekend! You can view some of the photos in our gallery.

I’ve written about it before, but I’ll say it again. The statistics related to stroke in the African American community are devastating. Blacks have almost twice the risk of first-ever strokes compared to whites, and have higher death rates for stroke compared to whites. It’s crucial to know the risk factors and warning signs. You Are The Power. You have the power to save your own life and the lives of others. When it comes to health, knowledge really IS power. Here’s an easy way to remember all five warning signs for stroke:

Walk… Is balance off?
Talk… Is speech slurred or face droopy?
Reach… Is one side weak or numb?
See… Is vision all or partly lost?
Feel… Is headache severe?

The weekend was also very special because today I was able to go to church with my long-time mentor, Jesse Hill, Jr. and his wife. In many ways, he has been like a second father to me. He has always been there with advice since I was a teenager. We almost lost him last year to a heart attack. With all of the prayers that came in across the country, he made a nice recovery. I had to fight back the tears sitting next to him though. I was realizing how much he meant to me and was so grateful to spend this time.

I was inspired by all of the stroke survivors I met. They’ve come back from near death and worked hard to reclaim life – and live it in a new way. That takes true strength – a strength we all can tap into. As Mahatma Gandhi said:

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

With Purpose & Power,