First date, going away on your first couples retreat, buying a dog … being ambassadors on a health campaign together.
Not exactly your typical relationship milestone, but Sam and Sasha haven’t had a typical romance.
Stroke is an illness that has touched both Sam and Sasha’s lives in unique ways. This has prompted the duo to become Priceline ambassadors, encouraging Australians to get their free blood pressure check at Priceline pharmacies.
Blood pressure is the biggest risk factor for having a stroke and this April Priceline Pharmacy and the National Stroke Foundation are delivering Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check. All Australians are encouraged to have a free blood pressure check at their nearest store with a goal of conducting 50,000 checks during the month.
We chatted to Sam about her own experiences with this silent killer as well as her philosophies towards health, fitness and heading to the Doctor.
Why is this cause so important to you?
“In 2012, I lost my stepdad to stroke who raised me since I was just a tiny girl of five years old. He was one of the most influential people in my life and we lost him to a stroke. It was completely unexpected and it was such a traumatic experience for myself and my family. The saddest part about it is, that after he passed, we found out a lot more information about strokes. We had of course heard of a stroke before but we never knew exactly what it was. After he had passed we found out found out risk factors and warning signs for those who could potentially have a stroke.
There were so many things we could have done and learning about it you think; it could have been preventable. That is why I like to put a lot of time, effort and energy into promoting such a fantastic cause.”
What do you say to people who don’t want to get checked?
“It is easily accessible, there are so many Priceline pharmacies and you can go in there with helpful people to do it. That is the beauty of Priceline Pharmacy doing free blood pressure checks for the whole month of April.
It is hard to push yourself to go to the doctor’s I am certainly no angel when it comes to that. I have four brothers and I know that my brothers are useless when it comes to going to the Doctors to get check ups. Encourage your family members and friends to go. Maybe book an appointment together and go as a group to make it less daunting.”
9 Shocking Stats About Australians Stroke Risk
- 19% of Australians have high cholesterol
- 52% of respondents did not know their cholesterol measures.
- 37% are obese
- 63% have poor nutrition
- 12% consume excess alcohol
- 13% smoke
- 30% reported poor sleep
- 65% have a family history of heart disease
- 63% of women vs 54% of men are insufficiently active.
Sasha’s connection to the cause?
“Sasha lost his grandfather to a stroke as well. Sasha was only 15 or 16 and it was the first loss for his family. As we talked about our experiences in detail, we found that they were very similar. We went through the same grieving process. It is really heartbreaking but at the same time it is nice to know that I have my partner, who understands what I went through. It makes you feel more confident in what is usually a horrible experience to even think about it.
Now, the whole aim of the game is then to prevent other people having to go through the same thing.”
There are more than 280 locations for free blood pressure checks throughout April including every Priceline Pharmacy store and selected Westfield shopping centres. Locations can be found here: www.priceline.com.au/mission-health
Check out how to fight stroke and keep the pressure down here.
Did you like this story? If yes, check out Chris Bath’s open letter to Prime Minister to fight stroke in Australia.