Monday, May 14, 2012

My First Stroke Speech At My Alma Mater, Cathedral High School

On Friday May 11th, I went back to Cathedral High School to speak to students on my experience of having a stroke. I was so nervous on the days leading up to this awesome event! This was the first time I had spoken publicly to anyone in a large group about this! When I get nervous, I tend to fumble over my words and I didn't want to sound stupid! Learning how to control my speech during times like this is a process :)

I took the same route I did when I was a student which brought back so many fun memories. Walking through the halls immediately took me back to my days as a backpack toting uniform wearing band nerd. I only wish I could have brought some of the grads from my class with me but they were there in a sense. I sent them pictures at every turn so they could see what I was seeing.

I was immediately back in my teenage mindset unaware that I had 15 years on some of these kids! CHS grads, your girl was treated like a VIP. I got to take the elevator everywhere! (Class of '99, you know exactly what this means)The four classes I spoke to were filled with amazing talented young women interested in the medical field. I have to say, it was a bit intimidating to stand in front of these students. I didn't know how I would be received. In fact, I was so amped during my first speech I flew through my presentation in no time! Eek. Haha. All in all, they had all sorts of questions about strokes. I tried to answer them to the best of my ability. I hope each of them walked away with new knowledge on prevention.

One student asked what I was thankful for every day and what I took away from it. Being at the school definitely gave me something else to be thankful for. As I left Cathedral, I couldn't help but be so happy for the incredible opportunity I was given which is yet another reason why I am thankful for this stroke. Knowledge is power and I shared everything I could. You never know who you will touch just by sharing your experiences in life.

Everyone was so lovely. I'd like to send a big thank you to Alice D'Orazi for being so accommodating! I look forward to many more opportunities like this. Anything I can do to help others and prevent strokes is what Stroke Awareness Month is all about!

Thank you Cathedral High School!

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