For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018
TORONTO, ON – May is Stroke Recovery Awareness Month, and a good time to remember the thousands of Canadians living with the after effects of a stroke. In fact, stroke is a leading cause of disability among adults in Ontario. Rehabilitation can be a long and challenging process and, after being released from the hospital, many survivors are left wondering what’s next?
March of Dimes Canada’s Peers Fostering Hope program aims to answer that question by pairing local stroke survivors with trained volunteers who will visit them in hospital and share their own stroke experience.
With the support of Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada, and the Dr. Ed and Bobby Yielding Fund, March of Dimes Canada has been able to expand the Peers Fostering Hope program beyond the 14 acute care and rehabilitation hospitals it already serves in the Greater Toronto Area to include Oakville and Milton.
“Our volunteers lend an understanding ear,” says Donna Mackay, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Integration Services with March of Dimes Canada, “and that’s invaluable when people are facing a health crisis that’s going to change their lives in unpredictable ways. Peers Fostering Hope volunteers provide support and information about what to expect in the future, access to resources, and proof that there is life after stroke.”
Peers Fostering Hope has already expanded into the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, with two volunteers who have been visiting stroke survivors since March 5, 2018. Volunteers are also ready to visit patients in the Milton District Hospital as soon as they are needed.
“It was comforting to be told by another stroke survivor that what I was feeling was normal,” says one participant in the program.
“The volunteers are just awesome,” says another.
Connecting with stroke survivors and their caregivers through the Peers Fostering Hope program also provides an opportunity for volunteers to share information about other March of Dimes Canada programs, and offer support after the survivor leaves the hospital.
“We can help with system navigation and community re-engagement which are crucial parts of the recovery process that many stroke survivors need some assistance with at first,” Mackay adds.
For more information on March of Dimes Canada’s stroke recovery programs, including Peers Fostering Hope, please visit marchofdimes.ca/src
or call the Warmline at 1.888.540.6666.
For more information about Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Canada, please visit: ipsen.ca
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:
Tina Siegel, PR and Media Coordinator
March of Dimes Canada
Office: 416.425.3463 ext. 7258