Ep 099 -- The Importance of an Advocate with Marcia Moran

Marcia Moran was a consultant who worded with entrepreneurs and helped the write business plans. Her pplan did not include a stroke in 2014, but no one’s does. Since then those skills have helped her advocate for herself and take the small steps she needed to in order to begin her recovery.

Marcia shares her story in this episode, talks about how she’s doing it, and discusses the importance of having or being an advocate.


From Marcia’s website:

Marcia Moran headshot

After successfully building her business over the last twenty-plus years, Marcia  Moran thought she had life by the tail. Little did she know what was in store.

Marcia Moran has written over fifty business plans, and helped entrepreneurs strategize over how to differentiate their companies in changing environments. Her experience led her to found her own firm, Performance Architect in 2012.  She also co-founded Positive Business DC, an organization designed to increase well-being in the workforce in 2012.

After suffering a major stroke in 2014, Marcia applied her skills in planning and strategy as she strived to become whole. She never gave up. Over time she learned to walk again, but Marcia struggled with aphasia, a language disorder. She joined Toastmasters International hoping to regain her speaking abilities. It helped marginally, but in August 2017 she discovered a technological breakthrough that minimized her speaking disability. She then pushed beyond her comfort zone to become a Toastmasters International Club Officer in 2017, followed by Area Director in 2019. 

Marcia created Stroke FORWARD because she felt there is a need to share hope to stroke survivors and their caretakers. Learning to become her own health advocate one step a time and exploring holistic methods for healing were keys to her recovery. Marcia speaks and shares her message of hope, inspiration, healing, and a way forward as she goes across the country. She welcomes new opportunities to help individuals affected by major health crises move forward.

Book cover of Stroke Forward, by Marcia Moran

Marcia lives with her husband Jim, two very loud cats, and two birds near Washington, DC. Jim played a role of caretaker and advocate and contributed to Stroke FORWARD. His observations and experiences are captured in the book.

On weekends, Marcia, Jim, and the cats go to Deep Creek, Maryland where Marcia paints watercolors. In the evening Marcia and Jim sit out on the deck and watch fireflies flit by.

Marcia holds a B.S. in Political Science with a magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota and a Master’s in Business Administration, from Chapman University in California. She attended Skirinssal Folkehoyskole in Sandefjord, Norway and studied art. She also earned a certificate in Well-being Foundations of Personal Transformation from the Personal Transformation and Courage Institute in Virginia. She volunteers at Brain Injury Services, supporting their Speakers Bureau program.

Small Steps

Marcia talks about working towards her goals by breaking down the process into small steps, and then figuring out how to achieve each step. Sometimes she succeeded and sometimes she did not.

That’s how most recovery goes. It’s about figuring out we want to walk. Then we look at what we need to do to get there. Maybe we need to be able to stand first. Before standing maybe we need to be able to sit up. The key is to break down the big goal into smaller goals we can work towards. This is how our rehab specialists work with us — piece by piece.

It’s not something exclusive to rehab. This is how most productivity plans tell you how to a chieve a goal. It’s the basic model behind project management. It’s how everything from sheets of paper to baseball stadia get built.

Celebrate the Small Victories

In this conversation, you hear a lot of “Woo-hoo!” from Marcia as she celebrated accomplishments large and small along the path of her recovery.

Those small victories matter. When you feel the slightest improvement, celebrate it. Recognize it for what it is — a piece of the puzzle.

I was excited when I could feel my left index finger almost begin to move. Focus on those small movements, improvements in speech, a slight win in memory — whatever it is. Let your brain feed on the positivity of a win, however small so it can continue to give you more of them.


Toastmasters is a group with more than a thousand chapters around the world that helps folks grow an improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Marcia found great value in the work and the community. 

Many of the guest on my other show, 2-Minute Talk Tips have been involved with Toastmasters. You can hear some of them and learn more about the program at http://2MinuteTalkTips.com/Toastmasters

Hack of the Week

Get a heating pad.

A heating pad is great for sore and aching muscles. The pain in those muscles may be a direct result of stroke or an indirect result due to a wonky gait, new use after a period of activity, or over use. Many survivors often find their affected side may be cold due to the lack of muscle use and less intense circulation.

A heating pad may relieve some pain without additional medication and make it more comfortable to sleep. And sleep is when the brain does a lot of its repair and rebuilding.


Marcia’s Website


Marcia on Twitter


Marcia on LinkedIn


Marcia on Facebook


Marcia’s book on Amazon


Toastmasters on 2-Minute Talk Tips


Norman Doidge


Diane M. Needham (Book Shephard)


COVID-19 and Stroke — New England Journal of Medicine


Stroke and COVID-19 with Dr. Middleton


Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast