For the record attempt, undertaken to celebrate the campaign launch, participants were asked to upload a photo of themselves wearing a superhero mask via an online photo booth. In total, 20,350 unique photos were submitted, with children, parents, grandparents (and some prominent WSO members!) sharing ‘superhero selfies’ from all around the world. People from 20 countries took part, helping create a brilliant collection of images.
With a superhero theme, FAST Heroes is aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 9, that seeks to improve recognition of the signs of stroke, as well as the need to call an ambulance straight away if a stroke is suspected. The campaign leverages children’s enthusiasm for learning and sharing, encouraging them to spread of knowledge to the rest of their family, particularly to their grandparents. Through incidental learning, families and communities also become more aware and better prepared if a stroke occurs.
WSO which has a clear advocacy and awareness focus on improving community awareness of stroke symptoms has partnered with the campaign since its launch, working to create synergies between FAST Heroes and the World Stroke Campaign. Sheila Martins, President elect of the World Stroke Organization and Campaign co-Chair, said: “We know that outcomes for stroke are improved if stroke signs are spotted and people get access to high quality acute care as quickly as possible. Raising awareness of stroke signs and advocating for government policies that improve community awareness is a key pillar of the World Stroke Campaign. Involving children is genius! Not only does it embed essential knowledge early, but it can help with wider community awareness by sparking interest amongst their wider family. The overarching aim is to help ensure that our Heroes - whether they are our parents, grandparents or our friends, have a better chance to survive with their lives intact thanks to effective and fast treatment.”
Jan Van Der Merwe from the Boehringer Ingelheim Angels Initiative, who leads the FAST Heroes campaign, said: “Succeeding in achieving such an impressive GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title is a great way to show the huge engagement and support that the FAST Heroes campaign is receiving from around the world and is another way in which we can bring attention to stroke and its symptoms. We’re delighted that over 150,000 children have taken part via their school so far and helped pass potentially life-saving knowledge onto their families and look forward to continuing to work with WSO members to expand the program in future.”
Following the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title success, the FAST Heroes campaign will continue recruiting new teachers and schools as it works towards its mission of educating a million children from across the world about stroke. WSO members who would like to explore the potential of the campaign in their communities can express an interest via the FAST Heroes website.