In a remarkably short period of time, the World Stroke Day (WSD) has become a major event on the world stroke calendar; it is one of the best examples of what we can all do together, with few resources, to alter the way stroke is perceived and managed around the world. The breadth and reach of this event across the globe, particularly in developing countries, has been truly remarkable. We have seen wonderful examples of WSD activities held in countries such as Mongolia, Sri Lanka, India and Brazil, all of whom have been recipients of the keenly contested WSD Awards.

The continued theme for WSD is ‘Because I care …’, and for survivors of stroke and their families, every day is WSD. In previous generations a stroke was an isolating experience; now however, we are fortunate that there are numerous ways in which they can be supported, campaign and communicate with the world at large. Enhancing this communication stream, extremely active Stroke Support Organizations (SSOs) now exist in most parts of the world, and these can centrally communicate through the World Stroke Organization in a way that even 10 years ago would have been much less global. The explosion of communication technologies such as the internet, and social media is an excellent example of the tools available to stroke survivors and their families to combat isolation.

WSD represents the culmination of often months of collaborative effort between SSOs, professional organizations, stroke survivors and their families, and the public. In many instances, WSD activities are strongly supported by government and NGOs, the result of these collaborative efforts is often to leverage political influence to improve stroke management and its prevention nationwide. Brazil, where stroke is the leading cause of death, is an excellent example of the government taking a very active role in addressing the burden of stroke in collaboration with key stakeholders.

A list of countries with activities planned for WSD can be found on the World Stroke Organization website For all of you who are involved, we sincerely thank you for your efforts and important outcomes in your community, although we know that your actions themselves are reward enough!