Support Group Leader and Survivor

On March 2, 2009, at the age of 38, I had an ischemic stroke that paralyzed the right side of my body, impaired my speech, memory, and vision, and left me hospitalized for a month.

This changed my life as I knew it. I worked extremely hard to relearn how to talk, walk and write. It was very challenging and at times exhausting. But through it all I never gave up and to this day, with the exception of those closest to me, I am proud to say you would not notice the lasting effects of the stroke.

When my recovery became manageable I wanted to give back. In April 2010 I became a volunteer at a rehabilitation hospital and, with the guidance of National Stroke Association's website, I began a stroke support group. Our group, Miracles in Progress, has been helpful to stroke survivors and caregivers alike. As the sole facilitator of this support group, I realize now my true calling in life is to help others. I listen, support, encourage and give advice to other survivors and caregivers.

Many affected by strokes don't know what to do next. I have taken my experience and expanded on this by networking with healthcare professionals and stroke organizations to create an abundance of knowledge for myself and my group. I was a healthy 38-year-old wife and mother who did not see this life altering event sneak up on me. Now that it has I don't regret it. My stroke survival has made me a stronger person.


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