By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

(NANCY Copyright 2016 Guy Gilchrist. Reprinted by permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK for UFS. All rights reserved.)

There’s nothing funny about stroke, but on World Stroke Day, “Nancy” cartoonist Guy Gilchrist is bringing awareness to the disease that changed the course of his life and career.

Saturday’s daily strip featuring the timeless 8-year-old is a nod to his personal connection with stroke.

“No matter what you do, God has given you talents,” said Gilchrist, who had a minor stroke at 21. “If we take care of ourselves, we’ll have a lot of tomorrows and get to use those gifts. The only way the world gets to be a better place is if you’re in it.”

Gilchrist, 59, credits a second event in his 40s, possibly another minor stroke, for motivating him to give up his unhealthy, stress-filled “rock-n-roll lifestyle.”

The American Stroke Association’s public awareness campaign and Gilchrist’s Oct. 29 strip focus on stroke symptom recognition because the sooner care is given, the better the chances for recovery.

“Decades ago there were no treatments for stroke. Now we have therapies that may interrupt even the most severe and disabling stroke if we can get to it in time,” said Alexander Khalessi, M.D., director of neurovascular surgery at the University of California, San Diego and national spokesperson for the ASA’s Together to End Stroke initiative.

Stroke is the No. 2 cause of death worldwide. Gilchrist’s World Stroke Day art will reach readers of more than 100 newspapers nationwide.