Officials with a local stroke and caregiver support group said they hope to see May declared Stroke Awareness Month every year after both Perry Judge-Executive Scott Alexander and Hazard Mayor Donald “Happy” Mobelini signed proclamations.

The proclamations mark the second time the city and county have made the declaration.

Keisha Hudson, the Research Assistant Senior at University of Kentucky Center and part of the support group,  said members do as much as possible to raise awareness.

“We want to provide more education for the community,” said Hudson. “We want to make sure everyone recognizes the signs and symptoms of a stroke.”

She said Stroke Awareness Month being declared in cities and counties helps get out updated medical information.

“We do it on a yearly basis because the statistics change so much every single year,” said Hudson. “We think it’s very important to recognize May as stroke awareness month in Perry County as well as the City of Hazard.”

Hazard is not the only community in Perry county to declare May as Stroke Awareness this year. A proclamation was signed in Buckhorn on May 2, and the group said that more cities will make the declaration this year.

“This year we are actually expanding out into more counties in our service area for our stroke and caregiver support group because in Kentucky a stroke is the leading cause of disability,” said Hudson. “We feel it’s important to get our counties and cities involved.”

A member of the support group, Jimmy Williams, said people should come and meet them to learn about living after a stroke.

“I had a stroke back in 2013 and I’ve struggled for five or six years now with it,” said Williams, “I think we need to make more people aware of what people go through because it is a struggle.”

Williams also spoke about how awareness helps both survivors and those around them.

“It helps not only the stroke survivor, it helps out the caregiver,” said Williams. “In my opinion, I think the people who take care of the people that had the stroke has a lot worse time than others because they’ve got to deal with the sickness plus what they’ve got to do.”

Those wanting to join the group are welcome.

“We just tell people more about how to live with it and get through it,” said Williams.

For more information, or to join the stroke and caregivers support group contact Keisha Hudson at the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health.

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