South Texas Health System Celebrates Winners of Its Steps for Stroke Community Challenge, Raising More Than $1,500 for Local Non-Profit

Friday, June 23, 2023
STHS Steps for Stroke winners

The South Texas Health System Neurosciences & Stroke Institute is celebrating the winners of its annual Steps for Stroke community challenge, which helped raise more than $1,500 for El Milagro Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive primary, disease prevention and behavioral healthcare services to Rio Grande Valley residents who are medically indigent. El Milagro Clinic will use the funds to support South Texas Health System’s efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of strokes throughout the community.

Every second counts when someone is having a stroke, so it’s important to recognize the warning signs, including loss of balance, facial droop, arm weakness, eyesight changes and speech difficulty.

The faster someone experiencing a stroke receives proper treatment, the greater their chances of survival. However, in one recent consumer survey, only 38% of respondents were aware of all the major symptoms and knew to call 9-1-1 when someone was having a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Neurosciences & Stroke Institute

For more information about the STHS Neurosciences & Stroke Institute, visit STHS McAllen or call 956-632-4944 (stroke) or 956-630-7788 (neurosurgery).

Cultivating a greater knowledge of the most common signs of a stroke and how to reduce the risk of having one, the South Texas Health System Neuroscience & Stroke Institute hosted its Steps for Stroke community challenge for the third year in a row, from May 20-26, during National Stroke Awareness Month. During the seven-day period, participants were challenged to walk, run or even dance their way to at least 50,000 steps. This year, the 69 competitors who submitted their daily step count logged a combined 1,752,065 steps. That equates to nearly 781 miles or just shy of a one-way trip to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Participants were able to compete in one of three different categories: Community, Staff and First Responders.

Having claimed first place in the community competition last year with 246,149 steps, Angela Murphy of La Feria accumulated a remarkable 317,890 steps this year, earning her second place. Murphy, 44, said her goal this year was to beat the number of steps she achieved last year. She did that and more, logging an additional 71,741 steps this year.

In 2019, Murphy began power walking regularly, but she stepped up her efforts by attending multiple gym classes each day and walking at her local country club. “I’m very tired, I’ve never done a marathon in steps until this year,” Murphy said of completing the challenge. “I encourage people to participate in these activities, especially if it benefits others.”

Health experts recommend taking at least 10,000 steps per day to help maintain your overall health, a goal Murphy said is more obtainable that it might seem. “It’s a lot but even if you walk slow, if you dedicate two hours a day to walking, that’s already six miles — that’s already over the recommended number of steps,” Murphy said. “It’s just a matter of setting out the time to do that — even if you divide it up into 30-minute increments.”

Here’s a look at this year’s winners by category:

CommunitySTHS Steps for Stroke 1st place winner

  1. Lourdes Weaver, McAllen, 336,480 steps
  2. Angela Murphy, La Feria, 317,890 steps
  3. Rene Escobedo, San Juan, 179,411 steps


  1. Amy Flores, McAllen, 141,298 steps
  2. Deninah Canete, McAllen, 122,213 steps
  3. Jerry Salinas, McAllen, 99,748 steps

First Responders

  1. Marcy Borrego, Edinburg, 154,673 steps