A Detroit woman in her 30's starts feeling numb on her right side, her speech was slurred. It sounds like a stroke, but at the time she had no idea, and even her doctors were caught off guard. That was ten years ago, when it happened again, it was a whole different story.
She spends her days teaching the little ones at Bunch Academy in Detroit. But 43-year-old Ykeita Sanders-Dykes is learning her own life lessons.
Last fall she was watching the Detroit Tigers when suddenly something didn't feel quite right. Ykeita says she knew she was having another stroke. "My hand started getting numb, and I started getting dizzy" she said. A year later, Ykeita is a new person.
She believes the doctors at Beaumont Hospitals Stroke Center saved her when they found a previously undetected hole in her heart, raising her risk of having a stroke. And now she's saving herself. 'I start looking at the nutrition facts to make sure I'm eating right" she said.
She's avoiding salt, checking calories and making an effort to move more. It's all part of her new life to reduce the risk of stroke.
Ykeita is down 50 pounds and this mom and step-mom knows while African Americans are twice as likely to suffer a stroke, she can fight the odds.
Kristian Hurley from the American Heart Association says, 'Stroke is very, very preventable. In the African American community risk factors we're looking at are obesity, nutrition, and high blood pressure. These are all things we have control over.
Heart disease and stroke are health concerns for everybody, but African Americans are at particularly high risk. That's why the American Heart Association is hosting the Most Powerful Voices Concert and Health Fair Saturday afternoon at New Providence Baptist Church located at 18211 Plymouth Rd. in Detroit.
The health fair kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and features health screenings, give-a-ways, CPR and fitness demos. The musical showcase begins at 7 p.m. and features performances from national recording artists.
The concert, which promotes stroke prevention, is free to the community but pre-registration is encouraged.
Follow the link to register for the Most Powerful Voices Concert, or call (248) 936-5834.