At last a way back – I could help The Stroke Association with this creativity creeping back in my blood


Courtesy: New York Public Library

Now I felt I was ready. I could conjure up words, mostly. Occasionally I got stuck on remembering the odd word, or spelling, but this is when my crosswords habit came into play – I could think of a synonym for the lost word. My speech therapy resulted in me finally be able to write. I felt the creativity back in my blood. Welcome back. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.

Now my client was The Stroke Association. The editor of the Stroke magazine Zoe Beer came to a local Stroke Association meeting and asked what we’d like to see in the pages. I’m sure she didn’t expect it but I would give her the full treatment, falling back on my reporter/photographer days, and public relations days and work up a whole media campaign.

It’s what I felt I needed after the stroke swept the foundation from my life. It would give me a purpose. It would give me a way back. I still could not speak properly, but I could write.

I thought what I could do. I cold interviews and write them up albeit slowly. I could take photographs (I wasn’t using my high-spec wedding photographers kit, another casualty of the stroke)

I thought that the celebrity factor would help them out. As much as I hate the whole celebrity culture (do we really care that Cheryl Cole visits poor people in Africa while the BBC films it for Comic Relief/Children In Need? She goes back to her 10-star hotel every night and puts up her 8 inch Jimmy Choos Safari Boots™) but they have a way of getting people’s attention; getting people to listen.

More than that some celebrities have had a stroke

 – the character Jim Branning in EastEnders (Dot’s husband) had a stroke in real life and it was made a part of the story.

The author, Jilly Cooper has done interviews about her TIA.

The singer Jesse J had a stroke at 18.

Now I’m from the old school. My initial thought is celebrities are not experts, so why would you ask them anything than the facile dross they are adept at, performance, luxury lifestlyes and fashion. But research shows they reach audiences. There’s this article by Weh Yeoh arguing for non-disabled people to front campaigns because they reach people.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

“We want to change the world, but we rarely talk about how best to do it. Courtesy of a recent study cited in New Scientist, here is one way in which we can better advocate for equal rights in disability – have more non-disabled people as the face of disability advocacy. This might come as a surprise to you and may even provoke reactions of defensiveness. How on earth could I be suggesting that it should be non-disabled people, rather than people with disabilities, as the visible advocates for equal rights? Primarily, it is because research suggests that it is the messenger who is crucial in creating change, perhaps even more so than the message itself. ” Full article

So I drafted an email to Zoe telling her what I thought I could do. Just to be safe I copied in the all-purpose address at The Stroke Association and sat back and waited.

I had some ideas that I thought could help.

Put me in coach.

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4 responses to “At last a way back – I could help The Stroke Association with this creativity creeping back in my blood

  1. Good luck Lou, I hate the idea of ‘celebrity culture’ but you can’t argue that they put ‘bums on seats’ so to speak so I think it’s a creditable idea. You also have gravitas and experience in this area. Your purpose is in sight. I wish mine was.

  2. Your words: “I felt the creativity back in my blood. Welcome back. Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.” Great! Is it not beautiful how a creative outlet gets the blood moving in a healthy way through one’s veins!? So you’re ready to play? Terrific — hey! You even get me going…

  3. Once again you’ve provided *very helpful* news we can use. Glad you felt the creativity back in your blood. The life really is in the blood, isn’t it?

  4. Your idea for the Stroke Association is awesome…celebs may not be experts but I agree they get the job done. When they pay attention to things, people look it up.

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