Kirk Franklin: “It’s Time To Stand Up & Do Something”

Nine-time Grammy-award winning gospel singer is no stranger to the church.  Being a self-proclaimed “church boy”, Franklin grew up in the church and saw first hand how the health in churches around the country needed to change.

“Everything I do has a spiritual reference point. But I think that every Christian should be able to take his tie off and put his baseball cap on.”

That’s one of the reasons the talented artist teamed up with the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote The Power To End Stroke.

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“The way I look at it, we’re all connected, one body with many parts,” Franklin says. “I can relate to the choir but also to the corner. A man who’s a missionary to China can be doing the same work as a man on stage at Radio City.”

“Stroke is a serious health issue that is claiming the lives of our loved ones and we’re bringing increased awareness to help stop this devastation in our communities,” continues Kirk. “It’s time to stand up and do something about the thousands of people who are dying every year from stroke.”

AHA hopes to utilize the Black church’s powerful community influences to make this message hit home for African-Americans. “Stroke is such a devastating disease for our community, and it seems that no one ever talks about it or thinks that it can happen to them,” said Evelyn Young, a stroke survivor and AHA spokesperson.

One of the things churches can do to end stroke in their community is to educate others using AHA’s FAST method:

Face Drooping. Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness. Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty. Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1. If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.