Stroke is the nation’s No. 5 killer, and leading cause of disability. The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, is hosting CycleNation to raise awareness about that fact – and raise the funds to change the statistic.
The digital experience will take place during May, American Stroke Month, where participants can ride solo or create a team to “rack up their miles” and virtually support a cause they are all passionate about, cycling for stroke awareness.
“CycleNation is a great activity because it brings everyone together to talk about stroke awareness. The more people who can recognize the symptoms of a stroke and the more we can prevent a recurrence of stroke, the healthier we’ll be”, said Regan DeBenedetto, director of specialty restaurants at Doherty Enterprises and member, NJ Tri-County CycleNation executive leadership team.
Starting on April 26, participants can track their activity by downloading the CycleNation app or using Strava, Apple Health, or Garmin when signing up. Activities could include stationary biking or riding their bicycle outdoors to keep participants engaged and active. The goal is to challenge themselves by riding as many miles as they can during May and setting a fundraising goal to support the Association in New Jersey.
Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in New Jersey and No. 5 in the United States, accounting for over 145,800 deaths. Recent studies suggest that physical activity, like cycling, can help maintain strong brain function, processing speed, and mental sharpness. In addition, cycling is known to strengthen heart muscles and reduce cholesterol.
“I participate in the American Heart Association and CycleNation because I want people to see stroke survivors as warriors, not victims,” said Lyndsay Giger, account executive at Express Scripts and member, NJ Tri-County CycleNation executive leadership team. “My brother Danny is a 2-time stroke survivor, and he is bravest and strongest person I know. He inspires me every day.”
The NJ Tri-County CycleNation Executive Leadership members include:
- Andrew Weissman, MD, Cardiologist, Englewood Health
- Regan DeBenedetto, Director of Specialty Restaurants, Doherty Enterprises, Inc.
- Eva Skuka, MD, Dean of Health Studies, Berkeley College
- Lynne Vasconcellos, Executive Director of Global Mobility, KPMG
- Lyndsay Giger, Account Executive, Express Scripts/Cigna