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Metro couple starts Orange Popsicle Week to raise awareness of strokes in young people

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Amy and Jonny Wooddell had been married just four months. One May day in 2010, their future was suddenly, shockingly in jeopardy.

"I was dizzy. I was nauseous and I couldn't walk straight," Amy recalls.

Amy suffered a brain stem stroke at age 24. It was misdiagnosed at first. After all, who thinks a young, healthy dancer could have a stroke?

Amy was in a coma for several days, and in the hospital for weeks. When she began to talk again, she had one request.

"She just wanted an orange popsicle," Jonny says.

Amy finally got to down a box of orange popsicles after she entered a rehab facility.

"I can still see her smile with her orange all over her face," Jonny says.

It was a sign that Amy was beating the huge odds against her. Last year, the Wooddells marked the anniversary of Amy's stroke with friends at home eating what else? Orange popsicles.

"This year, we just decided we wanted to take it one step further," says Amy.

Actually, they've taken it many steps further. They declared this week National Orange Popsicle Week.

They created a website and printed hundreds of t-shirts. And they're holding many events. The week kicked off with an orange popsicle stand at the Rehabilitation Institute of KC. Amy was joined by two teens, Molly and Abby, who've suffered strokes.

They're making people aware that strokes can happen to young people. Don't write off warning signs. Click here to learn more about the signs.

Amy also wants to reach out to other young survivors.

"And encourage them and help them," Amy says.

Amy knows that life can be sweet -- orange popsicle sweet -- after a stroke.

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