Posted by Lynn Bronikowski Apr 19 2017
Madeline Muto made a new year’s resolution—to raise money for a nonprofit, something she enjoyed when she attended Penn State University and raised funds for childhood cancer.
She chose the National Stroke Association as her charity after experiencing a rare cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) which if left untreated could have resulted in a stroke.
“I am extremely lucky to have caught this diagnosis early on,” said Muto, 24, of Drexel Hill, Penn., a suburb of Philadelphia. “While I did not have a full stroke, I recognized while in the hospital that not everyone is as fortunate.”
Muto’s journey began on Sept. 12, 2016 when she went to the emergency room at Bryn Mawr Hospital thinking she was experiencing a migraine. She underwent a CT scan and an MRI which determined she had a CVST which occurs in five of one million people. It occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses. As a result, blood cells may break and leak blood in the brain tissues, forming a hemorrhage. In her case, they caught it before it hemorrhaged.
“I have walked away from this experience with a huge appreciation for life and those in the medical community,” said Muto. “I’m raising funds for those who have had a stroke, especially those caused by CVST.”
Muto, who says she’s always been drawn to fundraising, set a goal of $4,000—$1,000 for each of the four days she was in ICU.
She took several steps to reach her goal, starting with setting up a personal fundraising page through the National Stroke Association.
“I’ve had a great support system and wanted to provide awareness for stroke,” said Muto, who relied heavily on social media to raise funds.
She posts regularly on Facebook, sent emails to co-workers and friends, and made phone calls to family members. Her company, Tozour Energy Systems, where she is a client service rep, sent out an e-blast to its 150 employees telling her story.
“It’s great to see people contribute,” said Muto. “I heard many stories from people about their own experiences. One said their mom had a stroke; another said that something similar had happened to them and one person said he had a stroke 10 years ago. I never had heard these stories before.”
She also posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a National Stroke Association Comeback Strong T-shirt.
“This turns an unfortunate situation that I found myself experiencing into something positive,” said Muto. “I did not know much about the stroke community and through this fundraising effort I have taught myself lifesaving information as well as provided friends and family with the same knowledge.”
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