Free Napa clinic gets stroke survivors out on the course

WHAT: Napa Valley’s Second Annual Saving Strokes, a free program of the American Stroke Association that helps stroke survivors improve their strength and flexibility through golf. It’s a great day out for both stroke survivors and their caregivers. The event also brings much-needed stroke awareness to the local community.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 8

WHERE: Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park, 2295 Streblow Drive, Napa

WHO: Dozens of stroke survivors in various stages of recovery, their caregivers, volunteer golf pros, occupational and physical therapists, family members and others.

HOW: In some cases, through the use of equipment such as an adaptive chair and golf clubs.

DETAILS: Upon arrival, each participant will be evaluated by an occupational or physical therapist. Then they will then be given 30 minutes of individual golf instruction by golf pros who have been educated on the medical and physical therapy aspects of stroke recovery. Adaptive golf equipment will be available as needed. (No previous golf experience necessary.)

The event is also a treat for caregivers, who will be pampered in our Comfort Green area. Capping the day’s activities is a delicious lunch.

This program is supported by a grant from Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

CONTACT: For more information, contact Leah Grahek, American Heart Association, 707-542-1992,

WHY: Saving Strokes had its beginnings in Sacramento in 1999 after a study from the University of Chicago showed that techniques important in golf – focus, dexterity and balance – are critical in stroke recovery. Saving Strokes was developed to help stroke victors understand that their disabilities do not need to keep them from playing – or stop them from learning – the game of golf. Some stroke survivors liken returning to golf to embracing an old friend.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States, as well as the No. 3 cause of death among Americans. May is American Stroke Month.

Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease. It affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.

Many people don’t know they can reduce their risks of stroke by:
• Eating a balanced, portion-controlled diet emphasizing a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, fish, legumes and sources of protein low in saturated fat
• Physical activity at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week
• Not smoking. If you do, stop.
• Scheduling regular visits with your doctor

About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.

Stroke kills more than 143,000 people a year. That’s about 1 of every 17 deaths. On average, every 3 to 4 minutes, someone dies of stroke.

About the American Stroke Association
Created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association works to improve stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — America’s No. 3 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. To do this, we fund scientific research, help people better understand and avoid stroke, encourage government support, guide healthcare professionals, and provide information to stroke survivors and their caregivers to enhance their quality of life. To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit