Musical artist, tenor, actor, stage performer, radio host, all these words describe Benjamin “BeBe” Winans. But why do we chose BeBe to be our May celebrity for Battling Heart and Stroke?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), prevalence of stroke in the US in 2005 is estimated to be 5.8 million. In 2004, stroke accounted for one 1 out of 16 deaths. Other statistics to ponder upon:
- 10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely
- 25% recover with minor impairments
- 40% experience moderate to severe impairments that require special care
- 10% require care in a nursing home or other long-term facility
- 15% die shortly after the stroke
- Approximately 14% of stroke survivors experience a second stroke in the first year following a stroke.
African Americans are especially at risk – they are almost twice as likely to suffer from stroke compared to whites. More than 100,000 African Americans suffer from stroke annually and through the campaign, BeBe Winans, the award-winning gospel singer from Detroit, Michigan reaches out to his fellow African Americans to increase awareness about stroke.
“Power To End Stroke is an education and awareness campaign that embraces and celebrates the culture, energy, creativity and lifestyles of African Americans. It unites African Americans to help make an impact on the high incidence of stroke within the community”
The campaign’s success earned an honourable mention at the 2008 PR Week Awards last March in the category of Multicultural Marketing Campaign of the Year.
The campaign is giving educational and informative materials to African Americans to step up on preventing and overcoming stroke. Basically the main message of the campaign is that
Of utmost important is recognizing the early signs of stroke, as follows:
BeBe Winans started his career performing with his sister Cece Winans or his other siblings but went solo in 1997. He won his First Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Male in 1989.
Other African American celebrities involved in the campaign are the R&B group Az Yet who composed the campaign’s theme song “Keep on Pushing – The Power Song.”