Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare recently held its inaugural “Race for the Brain” run to raise stroke awareness on Sunday, Oct. 18. There are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S., and it’s still the fifth leading cause of death for Americans.

The race was supported by the neurology departments at Las Palmas Medical Center and Del Sol Medical Center and consisted of an 8K race and 1-mile fun walk. The event kicked off at the Las Palmas LifeCare Center, and more than 100 participants were in attendance.

Past rehab patients participated in “Race for the Brain,” including Mike Goeldner, who suffered a stroke five-and-a-half years ago when he was 31 years old. He made a remarkable recovery and is now preparing to compete at Ironman Cozumel in Cozumel, México, on Nov. 29.

“The care and rehabilitation I received at Las Palmas Medical Center pushed me to do things I didn’t think would be possible after the stroke,” Mike said.

Stroke kills nearly 129,000 people each year and is the leading cause of adult disability. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke survivors who take 6,000 or more steps a day are more likely to remain stroke and vascular-event free than those who walk less than 6,000 steps daily.

Boosting activity levels following a stroke or heart attack may help survivors reduce their risk of future strokes and heart attacks.

KVIA-TV (ABC) attended the inaugural “Race for the Brain” on Oct. 18.