To educate the community on how to avoid Brain Bleeds, Stroke and Heart Disease through healthy life choices and encourage everyone to take on a Never Quit attitude and live life to its fullest.
Prevention is the key to avoiding such medical issues. The Never Quit Tour has the unique opportunity and ability to reach our youth and in turn their parents, extended family and friends. The goal is to teach them of prevention, living an active and healthy lifestyle, and if stroke, heart disease or a brain bleed should ever happen to anyone they know, how to take care of that person with love, strength and understanding. Gerard’s wife Reidunn, and sons Erik and Paul and daughters Sonya and Karina learned how to help her husband and father surpass all barriers placed on him. And… Karina’s status of being one of the top female surfers in North America along with local medical specialists deliver a very powerful and unique presentation and message to local the community and at the Never Quit Challenge that focuses on family, fun and health.
This event was inspired by Captain Gerard Petroni, his family and the local health and medial community that helped Gerard cross barriers that most believed not possible. The community watched a man overcome and defeat the odds with a NEVER QUIT attitude, strong faith in God, and the unending love and support of his family. Out of Gerard’s stroke and brain bleed, bad turned to good and a story of hope and prevention developed that can now be shared so that all my benefit.
After approximately 5 months of not being able to adequately communicate, Gerard Petroni was asked if he could write anything on a piece of paper, what would he write? Gerard wrote the words…”NEVER QUIT.”
Our Dad, Capt Gerard Petroni was one the healthiest men around. He was an active man of enduring faith, remarkable athletic abilities, strong physique and a loving heart. However, he suffered a stroke in April of 2006 and large brain bleed the day before Thanksgiving in November 2006. It was very questionable if he would live. A life of uncontrolled high blood pressure was the cause and if this could happen to him, it could happen to anyone!
Six months after his stoke and brain bleeds, and with considerable brain damage, Gerard was still unable to walk, eat, or speak. His family handed him a pen and said, “Dad, if you could write just one thing on this paper, what would you write?” With a hard pressed hand he scratched out… “NEVER QUIT”.
Gerard and his family’s NEVER QUIT attitude, and the help of the amazing doctors, support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, therapists at Brooks Rehab, and trainers from LearningRX, allowed him to survive improved greatly and inspired those who heard his story.
(This inspired the NEVER QUIT message that was brought to high schools and then eventually turing into a run and Beach Festival.)
With Gerard now having his blood pressure monitored closely, he was able to live an additional 3 years. However, a life of prior high blood pressure had taken its toll. On Dec 19, he suffered another stroke and on Dec 25, a massive brain bleed. He went Home to His Creator on Dec 31, 2009.
When Dad was growing up, the importance of checking blood pressure wasn’t well known. But his passing wasn’t in vain as NEVER QUIT has the ability to get participants blood pressure.
The NEVER QUIT Message is so genuine and the message is so moving. We can learn from Dad’s life (and millions of Americans who loose their life to stroke), so what happened to Dad and our family may not happen to yours.
At the NEVER QUIT Beach Fest, we take on own positive “NEVER QUIT” attitudes. …The NEVER QUIT message belongs to all of us!
With the NEVER QUIT story, let us all help to educate and save lives, and have a NEVER QUIT attitude in all that we do, so we can do more with the wonderful life we are given.
Read his biography here to learn more about Capt. Petroni