Almost 15 years ago, Carlos Ramirez suffered two strokes that left him unable to walk, talk or have any control over his motions and motor skills, but the former mechanic refused to let the tragedy define his life. After years of hard rehabilitation, Ramirez was not only able to walk again, but has taken up running for his new cause: stroke prevention. Despite still having a limp, Ramirez even recently participated in a marathon in Kona, Hawaii. When he’s not racing, he is running all over town as an American Heart Association volunteer, spreading stroke awareness among the Hispanic community. He also teaches a free aquatics class for stroke survivors to help them regain their strength, and he visits stroke survivors in hospitals to let them know what lies ahead. If they put all their heart and energy into it, Ramirez says, they can emerge from their experience rehabilitated, reborn and victorious—just like him.