I’m only 47 years old but I know more about stroke recovery than most people my age. You see, when I was 41, I suffered a massive stroke.
It all began on a fun-filled ski vacation with my family. While skiing with my husband and three young kids, I accidentally injured my neck with my ski pole and dissected my right carotid artery. The blood clot that followed caused a massive stroke, paralyzing the entire left side of my body in mere minutes. I was rushed to the hospital where they eventually diagnosed the dissection. I was monitored by neurosurgeons and had surgery to relieve the swelling in my brain.
Rehabilitation began a month later. I had difficulty swallowing, could not sit in a chair, and had short-term memory loss. They took terrific care of me and taught me how to sit, walk, and get dressed. I had a husband and three kids to look after and I had to focus my energies on my recovery so I could be there for them.
Today, after years of navigating through my unique challenges, I don’t consider myself a stroke victim but rather a stroke survivor. And it’s thanks to stroke recovery programs offered through organizations like March of Dimes Canada.
Each year, 50,000 strokes occur in Canada...that’s one stroke every ten minutes...mine was one of them. Your generous gift will help many stroke survivors live a more productive and more independent life. It’s because of your continued support of March of Dimes Canada. You enable programs that will help stroke survivors like me move past their disabilities and achieve independence, confidence, and the ability to overcome their fears.
While in the hospital, I never asked, “Why me?” Rather, I asked myself, “What will the silver lining be?” I felt very strongly that something good would come of this. A few years later, my rehabilitation doctor told me about the Peers Fostering Hope program through March of Dimes Canada, and I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved. As a stroke survivor, I know how important a good support system can be in a successful recovery. March of Dimes Canada gave me purpose, and, now, my way of giving back is to volunteer and help others keep a positive attitude. If I can bring hope to one person towards recovery, then I’ve done my job.
Please help March of Dimes Canada continue to do their job to help stroke survivors through the recovery process.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
and Peers Fostering Hope Volunteer