Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/9/2017 (286 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba (SRAM) exists to remind stroke survivors that they are not alone, that there is life after a stroke and a place for rehabilitation, support, and friendship with others who understand.
Twenty years ago, in her 40s and with a young family, Anne Manitowich discovered the value and importance of SRAM, up close and personal, when she suffered first one stroke, and then another two years later.
The devastating experience affected her vision, focus, reaction time, balance and short-term memory. As a result, Manitowich can no longer drive or work. But she’s focused on what she can do.
Having since become a member of the Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba based in St. Boniface, Manitowich is now actively involved in being there for other stroke survivors by volunteering her time facilitating peer support groups.
On Sept. 19 from 1 to 3 pm at 247 Provencher Blvd., a new peer support group will begin for people recovering from a stroke. The support group will run the third Tuesday of every month.
Knowing there are services and resources for stroke recovery can be the difference between isolation and thriving.
"I got my support from SRAM. I got to know and to feel that I could cope. They understand. Each stroke is completely different. Stroke recovery exists. There is a place for people to come, there are physio classes, art therapy classes, a place for camaraderie, to know that there are others who know what they are going through."
At 63, the Elmwood resident, a married mother of four and grandmother to one, is out and about regularly helping other stroke survivors at SRAM and on weekly visits at Riverview Health Centre.
"It’s not only rehabilitation for them, but for me. Rather than sitting at home doing nothing, it does one a world of good. I enjoy talking with people. I try to make them realize it’s not the end of the world. If you’re still here, you can rehabilitate," the Elmwood resident said about reaching out to others.
"There are many stroke patients staring at four walls not knowing what to do. We offer support. Caregivers and family can attend peer support groups as well. We are a social group. We socialize," she added.
Nowadays Manitowich and her sense of humour are both doing a lot for everyone’s benefit.
"I may look more or less normal, but as my husband says, I was never normal in the first place," she joked.
"Stroke survivors have gone through such hell. We laugh a lot. We have a good time."
For more information contact SRAM at strokerecovery.ca call 204-942-2880.
South Osborne community correspondent
Janine LeGal is a community correspondent for South Osborne.