George Scola was a national basketball player and is a genuine all round nice guy. He lead a normal, if not enviable, life until one day in his 30s he was struck down with a stroke. The moment he became disabled is encapsulated by him in this clip here. Today he spends his life dedicated to promoting awareness of stroke. He founded South Africa’s Stoke Survivor Foundation and is a Director of World Stroke Organisation.
Despite these grand titles, his noble cause and his warm personality, George has significant challenges. He is still suffering from his disability which creates a real challenge to getting around, concentrating for long periods and pursuing the cause. Coupled with that he has an annual budget that does not even reach R40k and he is competing with causes in South Africa, like Aids, TB and others that get far more awareness, in a society where none of them get enough.
According to George in his interview below, “stroke is the number one cause of disability throughout the world”.
Today is World Stroke Day and George has come up with the Blue Glove Initiative to promote his work. This involves placing a turquoise medical glove on one’s hand as a reminder not to use it, for a period of time. It will give the person some idea of what it is like to suffer the effects of a debilitating stroke. As 1000 kids at King Edward VII School understood this morning where he launched his campaign; trying to tie a tie with one hand is well nigh, impossible.
“There is urgent need for a campaign like this,” notes George Scola, “as so many misconceptions surround stroke. Some communities still believe stroke is evidence of witchcraft. Others wrongly believe women are immune.” “Awareness is low and information sparse. This must change.”
I would like to encourage everyone to support this initiative. You can do so by simply following them on twitter @strokesurvivors or the Facebook page https://web.facebook.com/strokesurvivors/. Pick up a glove, that is all you need to do but if you want to donate, that would really be appreciated.
Adams & Adams’ IP Live team is delighted to be able to support the initiative by sponsoring legal advice around the concept, and wearing a glove!