Christy Nich

Since her stroke, Christy has been a strong advocate for young stroke survivors. Today, she is making a difference by providing her insights as a volunteer member of a working group that is key to the development of a national survey on stroke.

Headshot of woman - Christy Nich

Christy had a stroke in 2012. She remembers everything, but as if she was in a dream.

“I woke up in the morning and couldn’t talk or move my entire right side,” she recalls. When her husband saw she was struggling, he called the paramedics and Christy was taken to a Calgary hospital.

Christy had no known risk factors for stroke. She was young − only 48 years old and healthy, other than a recent bout with pneumonia. Her stroke occurred because of a tear in the lining of her carotid artery, one of the main blood vessels carrying blood to her brain.

After three weeks in hospital to stabilize her condition followed by inpatient rehabilitation, Christy was discharged and returned home. She reached out to a local stroke recovery group but found it difficult to relate to other group members as she was much younger.

Six months later she joined the Young Stroke Survivors of Calgary and began pursuing advocacy work through Heart & Stroke with a focus on women and young stroke survivors.

How we helped

In 2020, March of Dimes Canada reached out to Christy to join a working group of other stroke survivors, caregivers, March of Dimes Canada team members and staff from University Health Network’s Open Lab.

The group was formed to provide feedback for the development of a national survey focused on understanding the experience of Canadians affected by stroke.

March of Dimes Canada is inviting persons with lived experience to codesign, collaborate and inform projects like this one to build a better tomorrow for everyone impacted by stroke. The group provides Christy and others with a unique opportunity to give back to the community-at-large through their insights and experiences.

“I want to help develop a Canada-wide system of supports for persons with stroke,” says Christy Nich.