Tony Barros is a stroke survivor and monthly donor to March of Dimes Canada.
When Tony was only 42 years old his life changed completely when he had a massive stroke. He was in a coma for two weeks and when he woke, the right side of his body was completely paralysed. He could do almost nothing for himself. For somebody who had prided himself on his fitness and independence, he found himself frustrated by how much help he now needed to do the simplest tasks.
Tony received great care in the hospital, but found himself floundering after his discharge. He longed to be self-sufficient but that wasn’t possible. His family did everything they could, but for six years Tony’s life was the four walls inside a small house. Whereas prior to his stroke he was active and social, he now retreated into himself, feeling shy and ill at ease in group settings.
It was in 1999 that Tony was first introduced to the peer support of March of Dimes Canada, as part of its Stroke Recovery Canada® program. It was here that Tony realized that life could get better.
"Peer support and March of Dimes has been invaluable to my recovery," says Tony. "Before peer support, if I was out socializing, I would find that I was sitting by myself in the corner - peer support and March of Dimes helps bring people out of the corner - it has given me my confidence back."
Tony became actively involved with his peer support group, eventually becoming the Chair of the Toronto Central Group. He has become one of March of Dimes’ most cherished and dedicated volunteers, and recently become a member of the Board of Directors.
Three years ago Tony met his wife Cattarina, who has also become actively involved with the Stroke Recovery Canada® program.
Tony is a monthly donor because he knows firsthand how March of Dimes Canada’s programs and services benefit Canadians with disabilities. He encourages people to donate if they can, because even a small amount adds up to a big difference.
To learn more about Stroke Recovery Canada please call our Warmline at 1-888-540-6666 or visit the website at www.strokerecoverycanada.com.
To learn more about becoming a monthly donor, please call 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org