Valerie Greene was a 31 year-old, healthy, vibrant businesswoman until two massive strokes left her paralyzed, hearing impaired, and robbed of her ability to walk or talk. Through sheer determination to regain her abilities, Valerie set out to explore diverse therapies throughout the world on her quest toward recovery. She discovered an array of conventional and holistic treatments which helped her defy grim odds. Valerie’s life took on a new direction with a dedicated mission of enhancing stroke prevention and empowering survivors through recovery.
As her voice grew stronger each and every day, Valerie began to focus on heightening awareness of stroke, also known as a brain attack, and address the myths associated with this often fatal and debilitating cardiovascular event. Amazingly her communication skills would continue to improve as she traveled the nation serving as a motivational speaker to thousands of individuals. Her powerful words then carried on influencing state and congressional lawmakers when she lobbied for improvements to stroke care. As a result of her advocacy efforts and leadership, in 2004 Governor Jeb Bush signed the Florida Stroke Act, ensuring that stroke victims would be transported to designated stroke hospitals to receive appropriate lifesaving interventions. That same year Valerie would physically and emotionally push on again, not only regaining her ability to walk, but fearlessly participating in a half-marathon fundraiser for the American Stroke Association, despite the paralysis in her left foot. She raised over $12,000 for stroke research, education and programs – a record-breaking amount for this fundraising program.
Once again driven to push on despite her physical challenges, Valerie utilized her one strong hand to craft her first book, The Fire Within, explaining how her stroke ignited a new spark of meaning to her life. Her second book, Conquering Stroke: How I Fought My Way Back and How You Can Too, offered readers detailed insight into recovery options and resources.
“Stroke recovery is a continual journey filled with opportunities to recover through treatments, hope and patience. Bottom line … never give up!”
Celebrating over 15 years of recovery post-stroke, Valerie became an entrepreneur and recently founded Bcenter.com, the world’s first all-inclusive online stroke resource and recovery center. This unique platform offers stroke survivors and caregivers worldwide access to an international resource hub to locate conventional and holistic treatments, connect with others impacted by stroke, and experience useful aids during the journey of recovery.
“After any traumatic event, there are so many questions … what happens now? What do I need to do to heal? Where do I go? Bcenter.com is like a ‘GPS system for stroke survivors and their loved ones’ offering direction to finding the right path to recovery,” explains Valerie, now 48. The virtual center provides easy navigation through three main functions: Bwell, an outline of nearly twenty conventional and natural therapy choices such as hyperbaric oxygen, stem cell and speech therapy; Bempowered, motivational resources including survivor testimonials, educational videos and uplifting books; and Bconnected, an interactive world map to access medical and professional providers catering to stroke care. “I personally experienced the therapies outlined on Bcenter.com, so I can offer insight to my fellow survivors and share the benefits that I gained and they could too.”
Survivors and medical experts are already buzzing about Valerie’s latest contribution to stroke prevention and recovery. And the name Bcenter.com is buzzing with symbolism. “In many cultures and faiths, Bees represent hope, inspiration and courage. ’B’ has become the metaphoric pillar of recovery essentially because bees are not designed to fly, but they do, thus reinforcing how a belief in recovering from a stroke starts with the belief that you can and will,” explains Valerie.
Bcenter.com aims to help survivors and caregivers worldwide, but you too can join Valerie’s crusade to save lives from stroke simply by educating yourself and others. Valerie says, “We don’t need a ‘stroke of genius’ to clear up some myths and take action.” Some common misconceptions include the following: Myth: Stroke is unpreventable. Reality: Stroke is largely preventable with proper lifestyle choices; Myth: Stroke cannot be treated. Reality: Stroke certainly requires emergency treatment, but it is not a death sentence. There is life after stroke; Myth: Stroke only strikes the elderly. Reality: Stroke can happen to anyone including babies; Myth: Stroke recovery only happens for a few months. Reality: Stroke recovery is a continual journey filled with opportunities to recover through treatments, hope and patience. Bottom line … never give up!
Nancy DeVault, owner of DeVault Communications LLC, is an award-winning public relations professional. She also serves as a freelance writer, editor and photographer.
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