A writer, an athlete, a marathon runner, a gardener, an environmentalist and more come together once a month over a commonality – survival.

1082365-4248395-stroke-survivor-quotesWe are all stroke survivors. Listening to the stories of my fellow survivors I am struck by the resiliency and strength of these amazing people. To have been through such a traumatic, and for many, debilitating, experience and still striving to live their best life, is both humbling and inspiring.

I admit that I often feel like I don’t belong to this group. The stroke affected my cerebellum in a place that we, as humans, don’t really need. The dead tissue was removed and titanium was put in it’s place. Otherwise I seem untouched. Sure, I have a visible scar down the back of my neck and  other “scars” that are not visible but my story seems easy.

My struggles on the recovery road seem pale compared with learning to walk or talk again or learning how to function with diminished use of one side of your body or complete paralysis of one side.

As I listened in awe to the courage and bravery of these survivors I felt a renewed purpose and energy to live my best life.

If you know someone who has been affected by stroke or another medical event or even an accident, take a moment to listen and really hear their story. Sharing our stories and talking about our experience is therapeutic. Don’t forget about the family who also went through this traumatic event – they too have a story to tell and need support.

Never underestimate the power of a group of people with shared experiences.

Support groups come in all shapes and sizes and can be helpful when you are facing a major health issue or a stressful life change. The Merrium-Webster dictionary defines a support group as a group of people with common experiences and concerns who provide emotional and moral support for one another.

[a] support group provides an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information about diseases or treatments. – The Mayo Clini

Going online is a quick way to start looking for a group. Once you start searching you will find tons of information and resources. It helps to be specific in what you are looking for to cut down on the overwhelming amount of information the internet provides.

I found my first support group by Googling ‘Stroke Support Boise’ and from there I had choices. I read various websites and their information until I found a group and started going. I found this latest group from a member of my original support group.


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