Founded in 1990, the Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association meets weekly, with one big goal.
“We want to improve the quality of life for stroke survivors and their families” says Ron Grant, president of the association. “We do that through exercise programs and the speech [therapy] group and the spousal group, and all three groups have come along way since [the start of] this club.”
Gary Miles learned about the association as he recovered in hospital from his stroke.
“So my stroke was seven years ago now” says Miles, “and it’s caused left-side weakness, so I walk with a limp, and I can’t use my left arm, which has interfered with my life, of course.”
He is grateful to have found this supportive group. “It’s good to have the social interaction, and the exercise group was good initially to get me moving, and that kind of thing. Obviously all strokes are different, so some of us are badly affected, so of us not so badly affected, so it’s good to be able to see the range, and chat to people at different stages.”
Grant points out that the Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association is “a non-profit organization, and we run on our own finances, through corporate and personal donations. Nobody here in our organization gets paid.”
Any money raised pays for the professional kinesiologist, and speech pathologist.
Caregivers who bring their loved ones to the program are encouraged to stay, and talk with other in the support group. That support has been a lifeline for Ann Walker, whose husband had a stroke.
“I just can’t say enough things about how supportive the people here are. They know what I’m going through because they’ve been through it — they’re going through it, and I don’t think unless you’ve been through it you know what it’s like to be 24/7 on call.”
Ron Grant became part of this weekly group after his wife’s stroke in 2002.
“Paralyzed on one side” says Grant, “she couldn’t speak for about six months, was in the hospital for about six weeks. When I heard about this particular club, I thought, let’s give it a try. She worked so hard to get better, and you look at her now and she does not look like she’s even had a stroke.”
Grant wants to spread the word that the Saanich Peninsula Stroke Recovery Association is here to help, both stroke survivors, and their loved ones.