Stroke survivor Cassie Perry runs her own fitness studio outside Indianapolis. (Photo courtesy of Cassie Perry) Growing up on a farm in northern Illinois, Cassie Perry participated in beauty pageants, joined the debate team and enjoyed competitive horseback riding. After college, she was a cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Rush of the…

Mike and Kelly DiMaggio both have battled heart disease. (Photo courtesy of Mike and Kelly DiMaggio) Kelly DiMaggio was used to being the patient. She was the one born with half a heart. She was the one who went through three open-heart surgeries before turning 8. She was the one with irregular heartbeats, blood clots…

Heart disease and stroke survivor Daniela Leonhardt with her sons Landen (left) and Ciaran Donovan. (Photo courtesy of Daniela Leonhardt) Looking back, Daniela Leonhardt’s first indication something was amiss with her heart happened in December 2010, when she fainted before an Irish dance competition. At the time, she was 30 years old, the mother of…

Heart disease survivor Jara Herron shares her experience at a 2018 Go Red for Women luncheon. (Photo courtesy of Gary Box) As Jara Herron walked down her hallway to feed her 10-day-old baby, she didn’t feel right. She was nauseous. Her chest felt like elephants were sitting on it. Then Herron tried to pick up…

Stroke survivor Liz Andersen with her husband and caregiver, Steve, at a stroke retreat for survivors and caregivers. (Photo courtesy of Steve Andersen) Steve Andersen was fast asleep, tuckered out after a weekend of camping with the grandsons, when he heard his wife Liz frantically calling his name. “Steve, I can’t get off the toilet,”…

Stroke survivor Dave Kim at the Red Cross Gala in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Dave Kim) Dave Kim can hardly remember a time he wasn’t making music. He plays three instruments – most notably the electric violin – and has performed at countless weddings and in concerts around the world, opening for such acts…

Members of hard rock band Hellyeah (L to R): Tom Maxwell, Christian Brady, Chad Maxwell, Kyle Sanders and the late Vinnie Paul. (Photo by David Jackson) When the members of the hard rock band Hellyeah walked onstage for their first show in more than a year, everything looked different. The most glaring change was the…

Stroke survivors Tara MacInnes and Sean Bretz in their engagement photo from February 2019. (Photo courtesy of Tara MacInnes) She grew up splashing around the Pacific Ocean. Him, the Atlantic Ocean. She dreamed of a career in the Coast Guard. He had one. About the only thing they had in common? Strokes that required extensive brain…

Gospel legend Rev. Stefanie Minatee survived a stroke in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Stefanie Minatee) Singing in church as a young girl in New Jersey, Stefanie Minatee had a feeling that she was destined to do great things. And, indeed, her faith lifted her. She went on to earn a Ph.D. and become an ordained…

Stroke survivor Ira Goodman (right) with his father Marc. (Photo courtesy of Ira Goodman) Ira Goodman woke up in the middle of the night drenched with sweat. His head pounded like nothing he’d experienced in all his 31 years. The room spun and he felt extremely nauseous. He’d eaten an enchilada the night before, so he figured…