When Vic Allen’s beloved wife Nancy had a significant stroke in 1987, both of their lives changed forever. Vic was devastated the wonderful life he and Nancy shared would never be the same. Nancy had four strokes in five years which left her severely disabled, with no speech, no mobility and only peripheral vision.
Vic dedicated himself to Nancy’s care until she passed away peacefully in 1996. Over this time, Vic learned as much as he could about stroke and became a passionate and active advocate for stroke prevention. He shared his learnings and healthy lifestyle messages with his local Gold Coast community and beyond. Vic became well-known for his catch-cry, “Our health is in our hands!”.
Stroke Foundation is honoured to announce a new research grant to continue Vic’s dedication to helping others minimise their stroke risk – the Nancy and Vic Allen Stroke Prevention Memorial Fund.
Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said this generous grant, of up to $100,000 over two years, would make a meaningful contribution in the fight against stroke.
“Vic envisioned a future where the tragedy of stroke would be greatly reduced,’’ Prof Thrift said.
“Sadly, he passed away in 2009, but his legacy lives on through this commitment to research.”
More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, yet tragically, the prevalence of the disease continues to grow. There is currently one stroke in Australia every nine minutes and that is estimated to reach one in every four minutes by 2050.
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said high-quality, evidence-based research, which could lead to the next breakthrough, was needed now more than ever.
“We know stroke can be prevented by managing blood pressure and cholesterol, eating a healthy diet, exercising and avoiding smoking, but the challenge is to translate that knowledge into a shift in community action,” Ms McGowan said.
“Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, but it doesn’t need to be this way.
“If we could prevent more strokes from happening in the first place it would ease the burden on individuals, families and the health system.”
Applications for the Nancy and Vic Allen Stroke Prevention Memorial Fund are open for researchers of any career stage, to further primary and secondary stroke prevention. Projects can focus on medical care best practice, drug research or evidence-based integrative care approaches that effectively bring conventional and complementary healthcare approaches together in a coordinated way.
The fund is one of six grants available in Stroke Foundation’s 2021 Research Grant Program. Applications close on Friday 4 September 2020 (5pm AEST). Application outcomes will be advised mid-December 2020.
The Program has awarded almost $5 million to more than 200 researchers since 2008, furthering the charity’s mission to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery.
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