STAMFORD - The American Stroke Association held its second annual ?Power to End Stroke Month? seminar at Union Baptist Church in Stamford Saturday.

The organization says nobody is immune to the threat of strokes. According to medical experts, strokes are the third leading cause of death in Connecticut and the leading cause of long-term disability.

The seminar included real life testaments from stroke survivors. Rene Atkins, who suffered a stroke in 2004, says she?s dedicated herself to spreading a simple message since her brush with death.

?I tell [attendees] to exercise, eat properly, make sure they stay in contact with a doctor, do what doctors tell them to do,? says Atkins.

In addition to the seminar, participants were given the opportunity to have their cholesterol and blood pressure checked free of charge.

The event was conceived by Yvonne Bass, a board member of the American Heart Association, which oversees the American Stroke Foundation. Bass says there?s more work to be done.

?We still have a challenge of getting the men out,? says Bass. ?We will find a way to do that, but it?s wonderful to see that our efforts are being realized.?

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke