New Foundations Unveiled

The RTH Stroke Foundation – in its continual efforts to strike out stroke, has split into two separate public foundations that will carry on the torch in eliminating strokes. The new Hope After Stroke Foundation will pick up the bulk of RTH’s previous operations by bringing seminar education, support groups, and recovery programs to communities in need and those suffering from the after-effects of stroke.

The S.M.A.R.T. Program – which has grown exponentially in its first and now second year of operation – will continue educating K-12 students under the new Out S.M.A.R.T. Stroke Foundation. Local educators, teachers, and school authorities interested in partnering with this program should visit the Out S.M.A.R.T. Stroke Foundation site here:

For all other visitors, the RTH Stroke Foundation’s programs and education services will continue to run through the Hope After Stroke Foundation. The RTH Stroke Foundation website will remain active but will be slowly, and eventually fully transferred over to the Hope After Stroke Website which can be found here:

To all our visitors and partners, we thank you for your support as we embark on these new endeavors. Our office location and operating hours will remain the same.

Doctor’s Corner

The Doctor’s Corner is a monthly publication authored by various doctors. The publication details information on stroke and vital steps that can be taken to reduce your risk factors. Below, you will find a list of the monthly publication. Feel Free to view them and download them as well as distribute them.

Doctor’s Corner March 2016

Doctor’s Corner February 2016

Doctor’s Corner January 2016

Doctor’s Corner Aug.Sep 2015

Doctor’s Corner July 2015

Doctor’s Corner June 2015

Doctor’s Corner May 2015

Doctor’s Corner April 2015

Doctor’s Corner March 2015

Doctor’s Corner February 2015

Doctor’s Corner January 2015

Last Call – Golf Tournament Sponsors!

Rth Stroke Foundation and Hope After Stroke Foundation will be hosting a Golf Tournament at the Rio Hondo Golf Course in Downey on Friday, July 21, 2017. See Sponsorship opportunities below and become a sponsor by calling in or paying through Paypal.

Join us July 27, 2017 for a Tournament of Golf at the Rio Hondo Golf Club in July. Proceeds benefit the Diane Manarino Memorial Fund.

To become a sponsor, please contact our offices and ask for Veda at: (888) 794 9466.


See sponsorship opportunities below and make a payment via the Paypal link in the level of sponsorship you would like.

$2,000.00: Tournament Sponsor: Includes 2 Teams, Lunch, and Tournament Signage.

$1,000.00: Gold Sponsor: Includes 2 Teams, 2 T-Signs, and Check-in Signage.

$425.00: Business Sponsor: 1 Team and 2 T-Signs.

$500.00: Hole In One Sponsor: 1 Team and 2 T-Signs.

$150.00: Putting Contest Sponsor: Putting Contest Signage.

$150.00: 3 T-Signs.

$100.00: 2 T-Signs

Stroke Awareness Month Arrives

May is stroke awareness month and everyone should set aside at least a few minutes this month to familiarize themselves with the signs and risk factors for stroke. Stroke – unlike other ailments, is a disease that is 80% preventable.

Risk Factors:

High Blood Pressure


Heart Disease


Smoking Tobacco Products

Excessive Alcohol

Unhealthy Eating

Lack of Exercise


Stroke Warning Signs:

Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg.

Sudden confusion and trouble speaking or understanding.

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

Sudden trouble with walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

As always, the RTH Stroke Foundation along with its programs will be out during the month of May raising awareness and combating stroke wherever possible. Check our calendar to see a list of upcoming seminars in your area.

Roxanna Todd Hodges inaugural lecture examines kidney disease and stroke risk link

From Keck School of Medicine of USC, Wednesday, August 23, 2012

Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele, professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, gave the first Roxanna Todd Hodges Visiting Lectureship in Stroke Prevention and Education on July 31, 2012. Dr. Ovbiagele examined the connection between  chronic kidney disease and stroke. The lecture was made possible by a $6 million gift from the Roxanna Todd Hodges Foundation to establish the Roxanna Todd Hodges Comprehensive Stroke Clinic and the Roxanna Todd Hodges Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) Program.

Click here to read entire article.

What is a stroke?

The primary mission of the RTH Foundation is to prevent stroke by conducting community education seminars and screenings and providing stroke survivors and their families with education and support. These articles are focused on stroke awareness. To see all articles, go to this page.

¿Qué es un derrame cerebral?

La misión principal de RTH foundation es para prevenir derrames cerebrales con conduciendo seminarios y exámenes de educación para la comunidad  y ofreciendo educación y apoyo a los sobrevivientes y familias de derrames cerebrales. Estos artículos se enfocan en el conocimiento de derrames. Para ver todos los artículos, vaya a esta página.

Posttraumatic Growth – A Possible Light In The Aftermath Of Stroke

A recent article published by The Huffington Post Australia and written by stroke survivor David Roland, details how life after a traumatic event can – if the sufferer chooses it, become more positive. In the article, David Roland explains how the advent of his stroke made him question the bigger things in life, such as who he wanted to be and who he wanted to spend time with. David then went on further to explain that after the ‘dark years’ of questioning and healing had passed, he grew to appreciate the person he had become, rather than the person he was. The phenomena is known as ‘Posttraumatic Growth’ in which essentially the sufferer of a traumatic event becomes stronger and more positive as a result of the trauma. Roland finished off by explaining that now he’s learned to appreciate the simpler things in life that we all take for granted. For a link to this insightful article that would be of value to any stroke survivor reeling from a recent stroke, see the url below.

Renowned neurologist explains memory loss at stroke prevention seminar

Downey Patriot, November 7, 2013 Dr. Helena Chui was the keynote speaker at the stroke prevention seminar.

DOWNEY – When Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Chief Medical Officer Mindy Aisen entered Wednesday’s Primary Stroke Prevention seminar at the Rio Hondo Event Center midway through Dr. Helena Chui’s presentation, she noticed something very unusual. “Every member of the audience was sitting on the edge of their seat,” Dr. Aisen said. “Dr. Chui was obviously delivering a very powerful message.” More than 200 community members packed the event center for “Saving Our Memory and Minds from Alzheimer disease and Arteriosclerosis,” the fifth and final Primary Stroke Prevention event in Downey for 2013. These seminars provided free carotid artery, aortic abdominal aneurysm and blood pressure screenings for more than 1,000 people. These free screenings have been valued at more than $350,000. The seminars are sponsored by the RTH Stroke Foundation, Rancho Los Amigos Foundation, The Downey Patriot and the Rio Hondo Event Center. A series of seminars for 2014 will be announced soon. Dr. Chui, who is Chair of Neurology of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and is ranked as one of the top neurologists in the world, is no stranger to the city of Downey. She has worked at Rancho for 30 years, and she has also been a USC faculty member for three decades. Her presentation made the very complex issues of dementia understandable for the sold-out crowd. Dr. Chui discussed four general areas: *The issue of forgetfulness. “There are varieties of forgetfulness, just like there are varieties of flowers,” she said. “Not all of them are Alzheimer’s disease.” *What causes Alzheimer’s disease and what causes cerebral vascular disease * How Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia interact with each other * What we can do to prevent or cure these diseases “Alzheimer’s disease is the 200-pound gorilla whenever we’re talking about saving our memory and our minds,.” Dr. Chui said. “The largest cause of loss of memory is Alzheimer’s disease, with 64% of dementia cases. The second most common cause is vascular disease at 17%. And the third most common cause is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at 12%.” Vascular dementia is a form of thinking impairment caused by a vascular brain injury like a stroke,” Dr. Chui said “This is due to vascular disease because of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high sugar and too much smoking. This is the train that leads to vascular cognitive dementia.” “The take home message is that just because you can’t remember doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s,” she said. “If you want to figure it out, go see a memory specialist. That could be your family doctor. If you are getting older, you may wish to visit a family doctor that is more interested in geriatrics than pediatrics, or a neurologist that is trained to distinguish these types of memory loss.” Dr. Chui said that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke increases after age 65 for both men and women. She added that men are more at risk for stroke at a younger age, and women are at higher risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease as they get older. “The normal brain shrinks .5% per year after age 65,” Dr. Chui said. “By contrast, the brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease can shrink by as much as 1-2% per year. Alzheimer’s is associated with progressive brain atrophy. It has a major impact on memory, then language and spatial thinking abilities.” The challenges of Alzheimer’s disease are especially daunting because there is no way to prevent or slow the disease, Dr. Chui said. We don’t yet have a good treatment for Alzheimer’s but, we have made great progress in understanding the disease, which gives me hope that someday soon we will see a breakthrough,” she said. “We have some ideas from studies in mice and observational studies, but none of these have yet proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. We have only symptomatic treatments for the disease.” Dr. Chui explained that it takes 15 years and approximately $1 billion to develop one new drug. She said the good news is that many new drugs are now being tested for many aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Chui pointed out that those who experience strokes can undergo rehabilitation. “If stroke is in progress, you can call 911 and a clot buster could be given and the clot broken up,” she said. “There is a valuable window of minutes and hours to stop the stroke,” she said. “It’s also important to work to reduce your risk factors.” “We can start fighting dementia by reducing our vascular risk factors,” Dr. Chui said. “If you take all the capillaries in the brain, they would extend from Los Angeles to San Francisco. We want to keep that network as healthy as possible.’ Dr. Chui said that our choices and our genes are major determinants of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. “You have to be lucky on your genes and make wise choices,” she said. Major risk factors for vascular disease include age, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and cigarette smoking. You can’t do anything about getting older, but you can take your fate into your own hands by reducing these other risk factors.

Dr. Chui discussed 10 lifestyle modifications people can make to reduce their risks for vascular disease, including:

* Stop smoking * Lose weight if overweight * Limit alcohol to one ounce per day * Reduce sodium intake to less than 2.3 grams per day * Reduce cholesterol to 300 mg per day * Avoid trans fats, (no more than 1 mg per day) * Eat 1-2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids each day * Exercise aerobically regularly * Keep active mentally, socially and spiritually * Sleep well ‘There’s so much we can do to protect the health of our blood vessels, and we hope that that will slow down the progress of memory loss,” Dr. Chui said. “It’s also important to remember that there is always hope.” Deborah Massaglia, President of the RTH Stroke Foundation, said “On behalf of all those who attended, we wish to thank Dr. Chui for delivering a great presentation on Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many attendees came out of our seminar saying that was one of the best lectures they have ever been to, and we agree.” Deborah said the organization’s mission statement spoke volumes about the ultimate purpose of the seminar series: “The mission of the RTH Stroke Foundation is to eliminate stroke whenever and wherever possible. People suffer 795,000 strokes in the U.S. every year, 144,000 of which result in death.” “These are dire statistics, but there is one that is even more startling,” she said. “Experts in stroke research and treatment say that eight out of every ten strokes can be prevented – eight out of ten!” “Many people got to our Downey screenings just in time this year.” Deborah said. “They had life-threatening conditions without knowing. Thanks to the results of the screenings we provided, they were referred for immediate medical attention.” “Our operating model enables us to put donor money directly to work affecting the lives of literally thousands of people,” she said. “The last words of Roxanna Todd Hodges were ‘Strike out stroke wherever you can.’ “This is what we do every day of the week.” This year’s five Downey screenings had the most participants of any seminars the RTH Stroke Foundation has held throughout Southern California over the last 15 years. Many lives have been saved because of these seminars, which USC’s Nerses Sanossian, MD, Director of the Roxanna Todd Hodges Comprehensive Stroke Clinic at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, called “the most successful Primary Stroke Prevention seminar series our nation has ever had.”

“We are extremely pleased with the unprecedented results of our Downey seminar series,” Deborah said. “Our entire team is looking forward to bringing life-changing messages from top doctors such as Dr. Chui to the Downey community in a new series of Primary Stroke Prevention Seminars next year.”

Photo Courtesy Of: Greg Waskul

Strikes Against Stroke

Every year, the RTH Stroke Foundation hosts its annual fundraising night, entitled “Strikes Against Stroke.” This pivotal event enables us to raise funds so that we can provide free stroke screenings in the Orange County area to thousands of people, and help achieve the key statistic that 80 percent of strokes are preventable. This year’s event will be held on the eve of September 23, 2017 at the Rio Hondo Event Center in Downey. In order to make this year’s event truly memorable, we need the help of good friends, families, and local business leaders like you. Your support makes it possible for us to provide and administer vital quality services for people in need in the Orange County area. Every year the theme of Strikes Against Stroke changes, previously we’ve held bowling, horse race events, and masquerade balls. This year the night will have an exciting Caribbean theme.

Please help us in our efforts to make this event a success by contributing cash, gift certificates, or merchandise to be used as a part of our fundraiser. The names of persons/companies will be acknowledged at the event for the gifts received.

100% Of the proceeds acquired in this event will fund stroke screenings at our seminars throughout the year and assist us in the fight against stroke. The primary beneficiary of this event will be the Diane Manarino Memorial Fund which raises money for blood pressure screenings. There has never been a more important time than now to fund blood pressure screenings as it’s been reported that 83 million Americans live with this disease, which is a primary cause of stroke.

Thank you in advance for your support, and we hope to see you in September Striking out Stroke with us!


~RTH Stroke Foundation

Please see the forms below for more information on this event, including how you can participate or make a donation to this fundraiser.

Fundraiser Letter 2017

Event Information and Past Pictures

Sponsor Opportunities

Sponsor Reservation

Call (888) 794-9466 to make reservations with Emily or email her at: [email protected]

Holidays See An Increase In Stroke & Heart Attack

The holidays are a time of enjoyment and celebration for many, but there are some underlying dangers associated with the period from Thanksgiving to New Years in regards to heart-related illness. A 5% spike in strokes and heart attacks around the holidays has been reported by a 2004 study in the journal Circulation. The source of the spike was found to be attributed to overindulgence on food and alcohol as well as the added stress that some can experience during the holidays.

Overindulgence on holiday foods can flood the vascular system with loads of sodium, sugars, and fats that lead to an increase in emergency room visits around the holidays. Coupled with this, is the condition known as “Holiday Heart” which develops from excessive drinking and can cause the heart to fibrillate unnaturally for a brief period thus leading to an increase in heart attacks and ischemic, clot strokes.

Tips to avoid being apart of the 5% spike in stroke and heart attacks experienced around this time of year can be found in portioning your foods, limiting yourself to 1 alcoholic beverage for women and 2 for men at holiday events, and reducing stress by exercising and getting enough sleep.

We here at the Foundation wish everyone a great holiday season and ask our visitors to remain aware of the basic signs and symptoms of stroke since there is an increase this time of year:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headaches with no known cause (for hemorrhagic stroke)

And when a stroke happens get BUSY.

  • B = Body: Ask the person to raise their arms. Does one drift down? Is one arm weak or numb?
  • U = Uneven: Check to see if the person’s face is uneven and slanted on one side.
  • S = Speech: Check their speech and ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does it sound strange or slurred?
  • Y = Yes to any of these signs? Get BUSY and call 911, every minute counts with stroke!