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Inspirational Stories

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I know you have a story to be told. This is called empowerment. We take something very dark and transform it into something that can give hope. From taking your first walk, to learning to speak again, dressing yourself, etc., tell the world about it! Others are waiting for your story to be told. Please use the Contact Us form!


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Waking to a New World

Nine years ago Missi Hedrick went to bed and fell asleep in one world and awoke the next day in an entirely different world. Before February 15, 2011 the world Missi knew was pretty normal for a 41 year old single mom with 3 kids. There was her work at the medical research firm where she was a documentation specialist. Her days were filled with writing protocols, research logs and essays, with an occasional business trip to L.A. Then there ...

John Lummis: Bring It On

Interview by John Lummis “Dad, I can’t understand you.” John Lummis was at work having a phone conversation with his son when he began having trouble moving his left arm and leg. Initially the arm numbness led him to think he was experiencing the first signs of a heart attack. But when he began having trouble with his speech he knew it was a stroke. Eleven years as a volunteer firefighter had taught him to think critically in emergency situations. ...

Denae DuCharme: stroke warrior!

Denae Du Charme has a tattoo. It is a simple one. No skulls or fire or animal totems. In the center there is a red ribbon with a loop. Above the ribbon it says Stroke and below the ribbon, Survivor.  Across the middle of the tattoo is a date, 4-2-2013, and written on the ribbon is Warrior, which is a fair assessment of anyone who is engaged in the battle to reclaim their life from the physical, emotional and psychological ...

Bill Proko: Take Charge!

He came at me while I was asleep. Only a coward goes after someone when they’re asleep. And make no mistake about it, the Angel of Death is a gutless coward. You never know when he’ll strike – that’s his edge. And when he left that night, he had robbed me of half my body, a forceful stride, a livelihood and had poked a hole in the right side of my brain the size of a quarter. But in his ...

A Cause for Celebration

Strange how life can change.  Two weeks before the stroke, I was in Maui with my son, Stephen.  Less than one week before the stroke, I had a birthday party at my house, being 53 years old. Pictured is me in Hawaii right before my stroke.  As you can tell, I was not too overweight, and I didn't smoke or use drugs.  Thankfully, I didn't have my stroke on vacation! Then, the stroke hit.  It was January 24, 2012. It ...

2020 Sponsored Athletes!

Gwen Myslinski: stroke survivor and triathlete! John Lummis: stroke survivor and runner! Denae DuCharme: stroke survivor and bowler! Know someone who would like be a sponsored athlete?  Write to for more information!  No, you don't have to be world class.  Yes, you have to a stroke survivor! If this blogs touches you, won't to please consider to make a donation to Stroke Survivors CAN!, a nonprofit devoted to helping stroke survivors find hope and empowerment.  Your contribution helps this ...
Gwen Myslinski

Gwen Myslinski-Finding the will, then a way!

Prior to February 24, 2012 if you were going to pick someone who appeared least likely to be a candidate for a stroke Gwen Myslinski would have been a very good pick. A lifetime of sports and high level athletic competition endowed her with strength, vigor, cardiovascular conditioning and health. Plus, Gwen had a wealth of knowledge on stroke prevention. She had taught women about stroke and heart disease risk factors in an outreach program. Her knowledge had actually saved ...
Tanya Fermin

Striking Back

By Tanya FerminLess than two years ago I was living my best life. I am a filmmaker/singer/actress and my first film was being shown at film festivals and was optioned to be shown on television-Nationwide! I am an advocate for teaching people to have the conversation about death, dying and end-of-life decision making. In addition, I had just finished filming the last scenes of my TV pilot. I had media outlets interviewing me about both projects. My oldest children (ages 6 and 7) were doing well in school, the baby (age 5) was getting ready to go to ...

Speaking at 2019 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Conference in April

My first public speaking presentation. I was sooo nervous! I thought I was speaking fast but on review, I was talking fast for me, but not to others, no thanks to aphasia.  But aphasia or not, I’m ready to offer hope for stroke survivors!  Stroke Survivors CAN! The first half of the presentation was cut off. I would love to speak to your group or function! Boise, ID, USA

Living Beyond Yourself

I used to spend my days before stroke involved with a very rewarding career through my psychotherapy practice and playing an electric bass in a band. In my spare time, I spent time with family, friends, reading, church, and what not. I would say I had a very rewarding and rich life.  And then, without warning, a stroke hit me in January 2012. Surviving a stroke comes with options. I could spend my day frittering away watching TV, playing online ...



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