NASAM Colour Walk to celebrate life after stroke

The National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM) Johor Baru held a fun event dubbed Colour Walk, in conjunction with World Stroke Day on Oct 29.

Participants are showered with coloured powder
each time they passed this sector of the route!
Last weekend, NASAM JB and seven other chapters of NASAM held the Colour Walk simultaneously in their respective states, bringing together 4,000 stroke survivors, caregivers, family members and supporters.

The 5km fun walk aimed to inspire and educate everyone that there is life after stroke and this was evident in the determination of stroke survivors who completed their 1.5km route.

While the stroke survivor participants walked a shorter route in the Taman Setia Tropika Town Park, other participants completed the full route.

At the final sector of the circuit, crew members would shower the participants with colour powder, adding different colours each time they passed that way.

Some of the participants with supporters and NASAM
Johor chairman, Phoon Chee Yap, at the event
“We decided to do something fun to encourage more young people to participate because the younger generation are now also at risk due to their modern lifestyle habits,” said NASAM Johor chairman, Phoon Chee Yap.

Every year, over 50,000 new cases of stroke are reported and it is one of the leading causes of long-term disability as well as the second leading cause of death in Malaysia.

To provide stroke specific rehabilitation at an affordable rate, NASAM was established 19 years ago with centres opened in Petaling Jaya (headquarters), Ampang, Penang, Perak, Malacca, Johor, Pahang and Sabah.

Stroke survivor, Tay Hua Tong, 60, started going to NASAM Johor in 2012 where he received regular therapy from the physiotherapist and gradually regained use of his limbs until he was well enough to return to work.

Ronnie Tan Ah Tee [3rd from Left], Tay Hua Tong [3rd
from Right] and Shim Ah Lek [2nd from Right] are
stroke survivors who participated in the Colour Walk
Tay, who continues with a regular exercise regime at home and walks in his neighbourhood park, said that it was more enjoyable to walk with friends in an event such as the NASAM Colour Walk.

Another survivor, Ronnie Tan Ah Tee, who was wheelchair bound when he went to NASAM Johor in June 2014, was full of praise for the holistic help he received from the professional team in the association and encouraged other survivors to remain motivated and focused on the rehabilitation process.

A father of three sons, Tan said he deeply valued family support and was particularly touched when his youngest son quit his job as a chef and stayed home to cook for him.

Stroke survivors agreed that their emotional well-being was essential to recovery and it was important not to push oneself too hard but just do what they are able to, step-by-step in their journey to wellness.  (

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 29 October 2015

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