She felt like a rock star in her 20s — until she had 2 strokes at 27.
True
Cigna 2017

Mom and veteran Tamika Quinn thought she was untouchable in her 20s — until she had two strokes back-to-back.

The first occurred on the right side of her brain, initially paralyzing the left side of her body. The second hit her frontal lobe. As a result, Tamika spent three and a half weeks recovering in intensive care. While she did regain her motor functions, the experience was a huge wake-up call for her.

"And to think it could've been prevented," Tamika recounts in the video below.


Tamika Quinn. All images via Cigna.

Earlier in life, Tamika had been diagnosed with high blood pressure but had brushed it off as a relatively unimportant statistic; it ran in her family. But it wasn't just genetics. Her family had limited access to things like fresh produce. As a result, less healthy and more convenient meals often became the norm in her house.

After she recovered, Tamika started walking more and eating healthier, home-cooked meals.

She encouraged her two daughters, Sequoia and Kashra, to do the same — especially Kashra, who was diagnosed with high cholesterol as a child.

Sequoia and Kashra.

"The switch for us was not eating as much fast food and going on a lot of walks," Sequoia recounts in the video.

Today, Tamika's an advocate for the American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure network and actively spreads the preventive health message.  

"Any health issue that can be prevented should be," she wrote for You're the Cure. "Since we know that nutrition plays such a key role in later health, it’s well worth our passionate focus now."

Tamika also shares her health strategies through GLAM Girl Enterprises, the company she started to empower young women to better themselves.

Treating your body with care often starts with knowing what to pay attention to — such as your health numbers.

Tamika and her daughters.

And we're not talking about waist and hip measurements. Your four health numbers — blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), and blood sugar — can offer important insight into how your body's doing. They're your doctor's starting point to determine what, if anything, you need to do to get your body's health back on track.

Taking steps toward taking care of ourselves before health issues arrive could have a big impact — on each of us and the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "if everyone in the U.S. received recommended clinical preventive health care, we could save over 100,000 lives a year." That's pretty staggering.

As a result of what she went through, Tamika will never take her health for granted again.

She hopes her experience will inspire others to follow suit and prioritize preventive care. Because if they don't take care of their body, everything can come to a screeching halt.

"People will take their car to get an oil change or a tune up," Tamika explains below. "Your body is way more important than your car."

Watch Tamika's entire health journey here:

She was 27 and feeling invincible. Then she had a stroke.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

We know that mammals feed their young with milk from their own bodies, and we know that whales are mammals. But the logistics of how some whales make breastfeeding happen has been a bit of a mystery for scientists. Such has been the case with sperm whales.

Sperm whales are uniquely shaped, with humongous, block-shaped heads that house the largest brains in the animal world. Like other cetaceans, sperm whale babies rely on their mother's milk for sustenance in their first year or two. And also like other cetaceans, a sperm whale mama's nipple is inverted—it doesn't stick out from her body like many mammals, but rather is hidden inside a mammary slit.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less