UNT to host only Texas location for stroke awareness walk

The 2018 Comeback Trail 5K will be held in Frisco in partnership with Baylor Scott & White Health

DENTON (UNT), Texas – The University of North Texas College of Health and Public Service’s Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ASLP) is partnering with Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Frisco – to bring the National Stroke Association’s (NSA) Comeback Trail 5K to Texas. The event, which will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 21 at Warren Sports Complex, located at 7599 Eldorado Parkway in Frisco, honors stroke survivors and their caregivers.

 “Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. and is the fifth leading cause of death,” said Stacy Nunnelee, audiology and speech-language pathology lecturer and event organizer. “It is our intention to not only support stroke survivors and caregivers, but to raise stroke awareness and funds to support the NSA.”

ASLP hosted their first awareness walk in 2016, which they dedicated to aphasia, or communication problems – such as difficulty speaking, reading, writing and understanding speech – following a stroke.

Theresa Purcell, a stroke survivor who walks in the 5k every year, says the awareness this walk brings is needed because people often don’t know what aphasia is or how it impacts her life.

“I want people to understand what I’m experiencing,” Purcell said. “I always have to tell people to talk slowly or louder so I can understand them. When I go out to eat or to Bible study, I have to tell people that I can no longer read well and that I need their help.”

Jerry Armijo, Jr., is the son of a stroke survivor and says the walk has had a lasting impact on his family.

“We’ve learned the importance of us taking part in dad’s rehabilitation,” Armijo, Jr., said. “With such busy lives, the walk-a-thon helps us all take time to reflect on the year and focus on what’s ahead.”

Last year, ASLP teamed up with the NSA for the Comeback Trail and they are trying to grow it this year as a multi-city annual event. Bianca Castro, NBC 5 health reporter, is emceeing the event. For more information on the 2018 Comeback Trail, visit http://bit.ly/UNTComebackTrail.

“I am so pleased that our ASLP program is at the forefront of helping stroke survivors and their family members improve their speaking ability,” said Neale Chumbler, dean of the college.” I am especially pleased that we have such a wonderful partnership with Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation in Frisco. We look forward to a continued partnership.”