At Cincinnati's Heart Mini, young stroke survivor David Moskowitz shows 'there is always hope'

Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 10:07:13-04

CINCINNATI -- Two months ago, David Moskowitz was in a wheelchair.

He'd suffered a debilitating stroke, the result of a rare genetic birth disorder. Moskowitz had trouble speaking and lost some of his vision. He also had trouble moving the right side of his body.

He was back on his feet Sunday morning, leading a 1-kilometer walk around Downtown to give others hope.

Moskowitz and his lacrosse teammates from Sycamore High School were among the 30,000 people at the Heart Mini, Cincinnati's largest single-day fundraiser.

When he suffered his stroke in December, Moskowitz was 17 years old and "in great shape." He had a tingling in his face that wouldn't go away. An MRI showed a life-threatening issue in his brain. An ambulance rushed him to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he'd spent 25 days in intensive care.

Not long after he arrived, Moskowitz was diagnosed with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a genetic birth disorder sometimes known as Osler-Weber-Rendu disease and Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome.

His persistence made him into a social media hero. It's also why the American Heart Association had him lead Sunday's 1K Steps for Stroke event.

"Anyone can have a stroke, everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms -- no one is safe from it," Moskowitz said. "But there is always hope, you can always recover, and I'm a perfect example of that."

Organizers hope this year's Heart Mini will raise $3.5 million for heart disease and stroke survivors. The event includes a half-marathon, 15K race, 5K race, 5K heart walk and 2K kids' race. There's also a health and fitness expo.

The "Extra Mile" afterparty continues until 3 p.m. Sunday at Schmidlapp Event Lawn, next to Moerlein Lager House at The Banks. It includes food, drinks and live music.