Sept. 20, 2023
Super Bowl champion linebacker leads initiative to educate and engage the community, raise funds in memory of his mother, Phenia Mae, with FAST54
Today, Seahawks star linebacker Bobby Wagner announced the launch of FAST54, an education and fundraising collaboration with the Seattle Seahawks and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH). FAST54 uses multimedia storytelling to engage and inspire the community to learn about the signs of stroke.
A personal mission
F.A.S.T., an acronym to help people recall the signs of a stroke (Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulties, Time to Call 911), is at the center of the story, which was developed to reach new audiences and reinforce the lifesaving F.A.S.T. steps in an entertaining and memorable manner.
Wagner, who lost his mother Phenia Mae to a stroke, approached VMFH and the Seahawks to help inspire the community together. “Sadly, my mom had a stroke, and it changed our lives forever,” said Wagner. “We want to share a story that helps inform people in every community about the signs of stroke, the F.A.S.T. program, and how knowing the signs can save lives.”
“We are honored that Bobby reached out to Virginia Mason Franciscan Health to help support this important cause,” said Ketul J. Patel, CEO of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. “Our highly skilled Stroke Center teams provide exceptional, lifesaving care, and we are proud of their work every day. We are excited to team up with Bobby, the Seahawks and the VMFH Foundation to help raise awareness and philanthropic funds to support stroke education and care in our community.”
“My mom may not be here with us today physically, but her memory lives on through me and this initiative,” added Wagner. “The awareness around strokes isn’t talked about enough. Having someone close to me suffer from one, and the after-effects they experience, makes me want to help other stroke patients get back on their feet. I know my mom would have wanted me to make a difference, and that’s what I decided to do. It's why we created the Phenia Mae Fund, in memory of her, to support those suffering from stroke in our community.”
Funds donated to the Phenia Mae Fund at the VMFH Foundation are used to ensure that stroke patients have the equipment needed to aid in their rehabilitation. A donation of $54 can provide a walker or blood pressure monitoring kit for one patient, as mobility and monitoring devices are vital to reduce the risk of falling and to track progress.
FAST54 gives fans a variety of ways to read Bobby’s story: “Read the Story” on a digital comic book app, “Watch the Film,” a video version of the comic and “Donate Now” at www.VMFH.org/Seahawks. In addition, 10,800 comic books will be printed and distributed by Bobby, the Seahawks and VMFH throughout the region through community engagement programs. Fans can also pick up a free copy in the following locations:
FAST54 was developed with the support of Herø Projects (www.heroprojects.io), a leader in graphic storytelling, whose expertise in the unique realm of comics, illustration and animation made the project possible.
About Bobby Wagner
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Ontario, CA, Bobby Wagner was drafted 47th overall in the 2012 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Quickly excelling on the field, Bobby won a Super Bowl in 2013, and throughout his career, has earned eight Pro-Bowl selections, six First-Team All-Pros, and a 2010 NFL All-Decade Team. He currently leads all active players in total tackles with 1,551. Beyond the field, Bobby is an Entrepreneur, Investor, and Philanthropist. Bobby’s passion to promote stroke education and assist stroke patients has led to a partnership with the American Heart & Stroke Association, as well as the creation of the Phenia Mae Fund in partnership with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Cedar Sinai, and Kaiser Permanente. Additionally, Bobby has worked closely with a number of organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of King County and HBCUs, to advocate for health and wellness, education and child development.
About the Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1976 as an expansion team. The Seahawks have won 11 division titles and three conference championships. They are the only team to have played in both the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC) championship games. They have appeared in three Super Bowls, (Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl XLIX). The Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII to win their first title. The team plays at Lumen Field in downtown Seattle. Making an impact off the field has always been one of the organization's top areas of focus. The club supports nearly 2,500 charities around the Pacific Northwest and beyond and uses its unique and powerful platform to support community programs around the region.
About Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is an integrated health system serving the Puget Sound region, offering access to some of the country’s most prestigious experts and hospitals that are internationally known for superior quality. With a team of 18,000 team members, including nearly 5,000 employed physicians and affiliated providers, we unite the brightest healthcare minds in the region to provide world-class clinical excellence at 10 hospitals and nearly 300 sites of care throughout the Puget Sound area. We are proud to be the home of Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS, and Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research. We embrace our community’s uniquely vibrant, active culture by providing holistic, personalized and patient-centered care. We are committed to caring for the most vulnerable in our communities, especially the poor and underserved, providing more than $300 million in community benefit – free, subsidized and reduced cost health care and programs.