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Fonzie Opens His Arms to Stroke Patients

Henry Winkler entertains and heals the world

He popped the collar of his leather jacket, snapped his fingers and girls in poodle skirts came running. Fans of the hit television show Happy Days know him as The Fonz and today his countless television appearances and lovable characters in hit films like The Waterboy and Click continue to earn him new legions of fans of all ages.

See also: Henry Winkler inspires others.

But there is another side of Henry Winkler that fans may not be familiar with. When he’s not acting, producing or directing, he’s an advocate for a new therapeutic treatment that is literally opening arms for stroke survivors.

Winkler's mother suffered for years from upper limb spasticity, a condition that can be common following a stroke. It's defined by uncomfortable muscle stiffness and muscle tightness in the elbow, wrist or fingers. It often results in one’s arm being pinned against the chest, a wrist that can’t be straightened without force or a clenched hand in a tight, balled up fist. Through the Open Arms Educational Campaign, Winkler is working to raise awareness of this debilitating condition and is promoting a revolutionary treatment that's proven to drastically improve the quality of life for those who suffer from it.

My Generation’s Traci Mitchell sat down with the class-act entertainer to learn more about his inspiring work and his fascinating career.