Spreading Strength

Heart attack, Stroke and Pheochromocytoma survivor Angie Jorgensen and co-founder of local stroke awareness group “Stromies” has learned in every circumstance to “find one good thing and build on it.” December 7, 2012 Jorgensen found herself going from not feeling well to fighting for her life. This wife, mom, sales director, and health coach spent three weeks in the hospital with a long road to recovery ahead. “I can’t thank everyone enough,” she said. “My husband, children, friends, co-workers, clients and so many more all helped make it possible for me to fight through each obstacle that came along.”

Since then Jorgensen has found that her health story and survival has enabled her to pay it forward time and time again in various ways. The original feature article in 2014 in Edge Magazine led her to volunteering with the American Heart Association (AHA). “The article was really what launched my working with AHA,” she said. “I have had the privilege of helping at many of their events and for being an advocate for heart health.

Jorgensen and two other stroke survivors, Sarah Conaway and Tamsen Butler, founded Stromies. Together they have worked to educate and advocate for healthier living for other stroke survivors. Stromies started as a support group for a few stroke survivors and has grown into a worldwide group of survivors of every walk of life and age group. “I had no idea we would have this kind of impact,” Jorgensen said. “Our hope is to inspire, to encourage great health and hope, and to create awareness.”

Jorgensen has her own source of strength she carries with her every day. “I carry a photo with me taken during a difficult day. It is a picture of me after I had at least one stroke, five percent heart life, and no expectation of living. When I look at that photo, I realize that even that day was a great day.  I was still alive.  I went from being strapped in a bed fighting for life to working to overcome everything.  For me, every day is a great day.”

Jorgensen has found that having a stroke has opened her up to seeing a greater opportunity in life. “I am working each day to become stronger.  I hope to one day write a book along with my fellow Stromies,” she said. “Earlier this year I had the opportunity to hold hands with a young woman hooked up to the same life support that I was.  I will never forget that.  I’ve had the chance to say thank you to countless people who played a role in my recovery, and for it I am so grateful. Each day is truly a blessing and a gift.”

Outside of work and volunteering Jorgensen is very active with her family and her fellow Stromies. As a Sales Director and Certified Health Coach, Jorgensen keeps busy and counts her blessings.

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