Every ten minutes a Canadian will have a stroke. There are over 300,000 stroke survivors in Canada. St. Mary’s resident Tina Bickell is one of those survivors. She has an amazing story of courage, perseverance and inspiration. She shared this story at a fundraiser she held in support of March of Dimes on November 28th, 2010 at the St. Mary’s Pyramid Centre-End-Zone. All proceeds were in support of fellow stroke survivors.
In 2005, Tina was just 32 years old when she had a massive brain stem stroke. She was in the hospital for six weeks, unable to walk, talk or speak. She spent another five and half months in rehab before being discharged. Doctors told her she would never walk again, but she is walking, talking and writing, chronicling her new life as a stroke survivor, on her blog, found at www.tinabickell.blogspot.com. Tina credits her own hard work, and the support of her workplace, family and friends for helping her defy her doctors’ expectations and getting her to where she is today.
"A stroke threatened my life and took just about everything," says Tina. "But I have learned that being determined and having a positive outlook with the belief that things could and would get better, changed the expected outcome," she continues.
Her stroke, while devastating, has helped Tina learn some of life’s most important lessons. Throughout her journey through stroke recovery she has maintained a positive spirit and a powerful belief that even if the progress seems slow, you can get better. She hopes to inspire and encourage others to maintain that same spirit and to never give up in the face of adversity.
"Recently I held a fundraiser for stroke survivors for the March of Dimes, a cause that is near and dear to my heart since I am a stroke survivor. I survived a brain stem stroke, a type of stroke that claims many lives. Like most things I didn’t realize how important the March of Dimes is and how people come to rely on them for help," says Tina.
"It wasn’t until I was faced with the task of recovering from a stroke and living with some disabilities as a result that I realized how instrumental March of Dimes is helping people move past the devastating event", she continues.
Many St. Marys businesses helped raise funds and or made contributions to the fundraising event. A special thanks to Action Medical Care, Dunny’s Source for Sports, Sensations, Jackson’s Guardian Pharmacy, Glo Hair Salon, St. Marys Golf and Country Club, Coffee Culture, the Pyramid Centre, Thames Label and Litho and Tim Hortons.