Social media success makes it a good week

Well, last week's post about sex created a bit of a buzz, so to speak. Plenty of people contacted me via stroke-survivor Facebook groups and web forums to consider the issues it raised and several members of one group asked me to discuss it further on their forum, which I did.

I've been in contact throughout the week with Melanie, the girl mentioned in my post, with the intention of working together on a sex-related blog where she can chart her various experiences. As is often the case, she said to me: "I know what I want to say but wouldn't know where to start writing it down - or how" Which is, of course, where I come in with my journalistic skills.

I'll keep you informed of progress on that but in the meantime, I'm pleased to say my continuing efforts to get my stroke-education message out through social media and speaking have enjoyed a good week.

I was recently invited to join a Facebook group called The Networking Retreat, run by expert networker, speaker and author Stefan Thomas. Until last year, Stefan was network director of 4Networking and has said some very nice things about me in various places. He's become a good friend and I was honoured that he invited me to join the group. And since the group started, I've had calls and emails from a number of people asking me to speak about my experience and offering to help me find other outlets for what I do. One of the key things about business networking is how vital it is to remind people that you are out there and keep telling them what you do. Getting involved in groups like this, therefore, is vital for me as I can't be chasing up and down the country to meetings.

Then, yesterday, I got an invitation to join another FB group entitled ExComm - Regain those lost business network connections, which has been started by another good friend from the networking scene, Paul Landa. It's already helping me make new contacts or rekindle old ones; for instance, I had a Facebook message this morning from a new contact saying he had seen my name, read one of my posts which resonated with him because a family member had suffered a stroke and "I want to find out if there's any way in which I can assist you in spreading your very important message"

That's an ongoing conversation but it adds to the number of irons I have in the fire with regard to stroke-education. With the incidence of stroke among working-age people going up, surely due to our more pressured lifestyle  - every three-and-a-half minutes, someone in the UK has a stroke - making people aware of it is crucial.

 Figures from the Stroke Association show that for every cancer patient living in the UK, £241 is spent each year on medical research, compared with just £48 a year for every stroke patient. That's not to say that less should be spent on cancer research, it's saying that more should be spent on stroke research.

recently attended the Stroke Association's keynote lecture in London, given by Professor Joanna Wardlaw of the University of Edinburgh. It looked at some of the advances in stroke medicine over the last two decades and it resonated with me because I realised that many of the techniques which were used to help/save me didn't exist 20 years ago. In 1993 (Mrs W and I had already been married for three years), if I'd had the type of stroke I suffered in 2013, I could well have been dead.

Making people aware of that fact and of the importance of continuing to fund medical research is one of the main things that keeps The Warrior battling on.