:: 04 / 08 / 10 :: Alberto Contador joins the World Stroke Campaign
Geneva, Madrid| 4 August 2010 - Alberto Contador, Spanish cycling legend and three time Tour de France champion, has joined the “One in Six” campaign as goodwill ambassador of the World Stroke Organization (WSO). The campaign underscores the vital importance of learning the facts about stroke. One in six people worldwide will have a stroke in their lifetime.


“Stroke can attack anytime and at any age. The good news is that stroke can be beaten. Not only can it be prevented, but people who have experienced a stroke can regain their quality of life with the appropriate long-term care and support. I am an example.”


In 2004 at the age 21, Contador had a serious brush with fate during the first stage of the Vuelta a Asturias tour. “I was told that my eyes rolled upward. I went into a convulsion and fell off my bike.” He was later diagnosed with a congenital vascular disorder known as cavernoma. Cavernomas cause bleeding in the brain and can lead to hemorrhagic stroke. He eventually had to undergo surgery. When he awoke, the first words he remembers saying to his mother was “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. He continued “I know that there are things that are impossible, but if you do everything you can to get them, you have a better chance to reach your goal.”


“We are honored to have Alberto with us in this important campaign. His determination, courage and perseverance is remarkable” said WSO president Bo Norrving. “His journey from stroke survivor to cycling legend is truly an inspiration to all of us” adds Markku Kaste, chair of the Campaign Committee. “Alberto’s triumph and determination to succeed despite all odds is a constant reminder that nothing is impossible if set your mind to it”, both underscored.


The 2010 to 2012 World Stroke Campaign – “One in Six” aims to disseminate essential life-saving information and share knowledge about actions and lifestyle behaviors that could avert the assault of stroke. As stroke is a leading cause of disability worldwide, the campaign also underscores the essential importance of providing quality long-term care and support after stroke.


“I am delighted to take part in this important global public health initiative led by the WSO. There is a lot of work to be done. Many people -- especially in low and middle-income countries where the large majority of people at- risk and stroke survivors live -- simply do not know or have very limited knowledge about stroke. I would like to help educate and raise their awareness about ways to prevent, treat and ensure quality of life for people after stroke” said Contador. Join me in stopping stroke now !”


About the World Stroke Organization


The World Stroke Organization (WSO) was established in October 2006. Its mission is to provide access to stroke care, promote research and knowledge by (1) promoting prevention and care for persons with stroke and vascular dementia; (2) fostering the best standards of practice; (3) educating, in collaboration with other international, public, and private organizations; and (4) facilitating clinical research. With individual and organizational members worldwide, WSO is the voice for stroke. The WSO is an international NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization.