EDINBURG, Texas – Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms is vital because the chances of survival are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly. Yet only 38% of respondents in one survey were aware of all the major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a stroke.

This May, South Texas Health System Neuroscience & Stroke Institute will host its third annual Steps for Stroke challenge during Stroke Awareness Month. 

Taking place from May 20-26, the 50,000-step challenge is aimed at not only raising awareness about stroke in our community, but also getting Valley residents to understand the importance of moving more to reduce their risk of stroke.

Tom Castañeda, system director of marketing and public relations for STHS, said 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to El Milagro Clinic for their work in providing access to healthcare and stroke education to the medically indigent of the Rio Grande Valley.

“Studies have shown that moving more can reduce your risk of stroke in several different ways, including lowering your blood pressure, stabilizing your blood sugar and reducing your cholesterol level,” Castaneda said. “It doesn’t matter how you do it; you just have to move. Whether you like to go for long walks or dance to music on the radio while cleaning around the house, each step you take is a step toward reducing your risk of stroke!”

To kick off the competition, STHS McAllen will host a special Steps for Stroke Pep Rally on Saturday, May 20, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Along with picking up their challenge packets, contestants will have the chance to start clocking their steps by taking part in a variety of interactive exercise demonstrations.

Registration can be completed at www.STHSActive.com. People can register early at a reduced fee of $25 until May 2. The Late registration dee after May 2 will be $30. The registration fee includes a T-shirt and medal, though a T-shirt is not guaranteed with late registration.

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