THIS IS A CALL FOR LIFESAVERS!
The following post is a guest article by Francesca Fedeli, Head of Brand, Communication & Social Media at ING Direct inItaly.Francesca along with her husband Roberto D’Angelo, are in a crusade against Stroke ever since their son (at the age of 10 days) was diagnosed with perinatal stroke, which left him incapable of moving the left side of his body. They are proud co-founders of FightTheStroke.org, and have given an inspiring TED speech (seen below) about the subject.
Every 6 seconds a stroke kills someone, regardless of the age or gender, and every other second stroke attack leaves someone dramatically damaged.
Most terrifying aspect of a stroke, is that it strikes without any warning or prejudice, and the numbers are simply horrifying: according to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 15 million people are affected by stroke attacks every year, of which 5 million suffer a fatal attack and another 5 million receive residual disabilities, that usually leaves the survivor crippled for life.
After coping with serial abortions, an adoption failure experience and a serious motorbike accident, we gave birth to our hero-son: Mario, who suffered from prenatal stroke.
Since his birth, we became passionate parents of a young stroke survivor, with a proven ability for networking, people leading and complex project delivery. We have been able to tie together the perspective of cutting edge technology and the thinking of leadership in big companies with the ‘Being human’ approach, in order to turn ideas into action.
But we never thought that personal love and professional passion could be somehow combined. That was, until our TED talk experience. We attended TED Global 2013 as part of the audience and few weeks since that event, we had the great pleasure of speaking on the TED stage.
To say the least, that event was life changing for us and with over 350.000 combined views later, it keeps on motivating us. Inspired by the reception of the video and the impact it made on viewers (such as the SiliconKarne boys), we thought that it was time to create an online platform, aimed at sharing and gathering information on child prone stroke, concentrating in its prevention and cure. In addition, we wanted to tackle how to face diversity in a family context. Therefore we created www.familydan.org to promote the issues above (#fightthestroke). This initiative aims at supporting current stroke victims, their friends and relatives as well as providing crucial information for future stroke survivors, their caregivers and the community surrounding them.
But, what is a stroke?
Stroke is the brain equivalent of a heart attack. In order for brain to function fully and properly, blood must flow to and through. If the blood flow is obstructed, the brain loses its energy supply dramatically, causing permanent damage to tissues affected by the stroke. The saddest and perhaps the most overshadowed victims of stroke are the unborn babies and young infants, such as our son Mario.
Raising awareness on this topic will, hopefully, prevent further child strokes and enable early diagnosis, which is a critical aspect of limiting brain damage. New scientific research on the subject will lead to develop appliances and treatments to benefit all stroke survivors (stroke is the single major cause of disability in the world).
The social problem we’d like to solve with #fightthestroke project is to reduce the incidence rate of stroke, providing much needed hope to stroke survivors and their family, their caregivers and the entire community, which can be prevented if it is diagnosed correctly and on time. Currently, there isn’t a global project, with such goal and there is no collective social action in place to improve the lives (therapy protocols for stroke rehab are the same from the 1960’s….) of the victims.
This is why we challenge and call the Startups, Entrepreneurs and VC’s, to join us in researching and solving the following points:
- Early diagnosis and baby cooling: training professionals on early detections symptoms of infant stroke can help on applying baby cooling techniques, as seen here
- Mirror neurons: based on our experience, we want to carry on research on this field. Related case study
- Gaming and rehabilitation: Kinect gaming console can help hemi-kids on better rehab techniques, thanks to the entertainment mechanisms; here is our Kinable platform which is still under development.
- Wearable technology: based on the Sensoria project we want to apply this wearable technology to provide a better cast for feet orthesis and transmit input, helped with gloves worn by stroke survivors.
We can fight stroke. We can win the fight and prevent your and our children, family or friends from suffering from stroke ever again.
Do you want to become a lifesaver with us? Do you think that you have the solution? Would you like to be part of the prevention of this devastating attack of which over 15 million people suffer on yearly basis?
If the answer is yes or even maybe, we welcome your approach!
For further information on how to embark on this challenge, feel free to get in touch with Francesca Fedeli and Roberto D’Angelo, proud parents of Mario: