state of Kansas map with fundraising progress

Signs suggest physical activity, such as walking, may be beneficial for stroke recovery. But we're not sure. In order to learn more about the possibilities, researchers need to study people here at The University of Kansas Hospital. Before we can do so, technology and equipment are needed to study activity such as blood flow in the brain and the role physical activity has in improving stroke outcomes.

Sandy Billinger in lab coat photoThe goal for Walk Across Kansas is to raise $50,000 needed to acquire the technology and further our work at KU Medical Center. We want to lead this understudied area of research. We aim to understand if and how early mobility/physical activity is beneficial for brain health following stroke. The REACH lab research team is working closely with physicians, nurses, physical therapists and other researchers in this endeavor.

KU researchers are also interested in brain health and whether early physical activity improves the regulation of blood flow to the stroke-affected side of the brain. In current studies, we are enrolling subjects having suffered a stroke in their thirties and forties, many with young children at home. Hopefully we can minimize disability after stroke; physical activity may be helpful in recovery.

The funds raised here will also support the initiation of an early physical activity program for stroke patients at KU Hospital. The Walk Across Kansas is the "first step" in helping us move stroke research forward with the goal of improving stroke recovery.

Why are we doing this, anyway?

We know physical activity is good for our health overall and good for the heart in particular. Research is now showing that it is good for the brain as well.

Our efforts seek to determine the impact of physical activity on individuals recovering from stroke. Read more on this page for details.

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