Brody’s Parents are Streaking for Pediatric Stroke

Streak for Pediatric StrokeDon’t worry! They’re not running around naked for the entire month of May. In 2011, Rachel and Allan Watts were inspired to create a 133.1 mile running streak in honor of their youngest son, Brody.  Brody had a stroke just before he was born (in-utero stroke).  The NICU doctors told the family it was significant and predicted that Brody would probably experience seizures; his development could be delayed; he could have severe cerebral palsy; or he could show practically no signs from the stroke – only time would tell.

The family felt extremely blessed because the doctors discovered Brody’s stroke soon after birth, instead of months later. Brody ran a fever three days while in the NICU so doctors ordered a head ultrasound and discovered the early stroke.

A few in utero strokes are discovered just after birth, when babies have seizures. Most in utero or perinatal (less than one month of age) strokes are discovered much later when a baby or toddler begins to show delays in typical milestones like having problems lifting his head, holding one hand in a fist and not using that hand, being slow to roll over or move into a sitting position.  By the time these are discovered, precious time has passed when these babies could have received therapy to help them adapt to the disabilities caused by the stroke.

Brody’s family was fortunate to have this early diagnosis because it meant that Brody could begin much needed early intervention physical and occupational therapies to help him learn to move his body.

Rachel and Allan Watts had so much fun with their 2011 Streak that they’re doing it again in 2012 and they hope their streak will encourage you to join the cause and choose a streak activity of your own to honor these little stroke survivors. You can keep up with and be a part of Team Brody by visiting his page at the CHASA Streak for Pediatric Stroke site.

Donations made in honor of Brody are tax deductible. CHASA is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping little stroke survivors.  Recent CHASA projects include a campaign to raise awareness of pediatric stroke and increase early identification of stroke related disabilities, helping families in need buy a foot brace to help their little stroke survivor learn to walk, local and national support groups so parents and kids will not feel alone, assisting pediatric stroke and cerebral palsy stroke researchers, and college scholarships for young people who have cerebral palsy.

Read more about Brody’s Journey.