The online Newsletter of Stroke Life Society

"United In Pursuit Of Living And Helping Others"
July 2012
Stroke Life Society Centenary.................

June 2012 was a significant month in the history of the Stroke Life Society as it celebrated its centenary since being founded by Ben Thomas and Darleen Schauder. The founders, far from being ancient are very much alive and the centenary is not in years but in the number of meetings held since inception. Celebrated at St. Bernard's in Levittown, June 15, 2012.

Extending our base................

No, we're not piling on the pounds and needing wider seats! In our mission to provide interactive group suppprt to stroke survivors and co-survivors at convenient, easily accessible locations, we have added a new support group in at Our Lady of Consolation in West Islip, NY (Suffolk County)  Click here for current meeting schedule

Appointments with Humor................

In response to popular demand, two further 'fun dates' have been inserted into to the Stroke Life Society calendar:

-          Our Comedy Night Fundraiser at Governor's on May 9th, 2012 was another huge success- socially, humorously and financially.  We've decided to have it bi-annually each year and have scheduled our next Comedy Night Fundraiser on Thursday, September 27th 2012.  Details to be posted on our website shortly. 

-          In association with the hilarious Chris Monty, Stroke Life Society has excellent reserved seating for his 'plomedy' "Shut Up, Sit Down and Eat" - a cross between a stand-up and a one-man-show.  Date is Saturday, July 14th at the Broad Hollow theater in Elmont, NY.  Our reserved seating is limited, so please be sure to reserve early to ensure seating with our group!!  Click here for more details and to make your reservations now

Website News.................

As the scope and number of Stroke Life Society activities develop, so does the information made available to you on your website, Not only is this an invaluable means for you to keep abreast of our day-to-day meetings & services, as well as our social, outreach and fund-raising activities, but it is also a precious resource for you to inform and be informed. On the website, you will find a growing library of items to which you may contribute and from which you may acquire a great deal of useful specialized information. "Inspirational Stories" from your friends - our members - and "Ask the Specialist" are of particular relevance.

Sounds a little fishy!!................

Some 40 stroke survivors, co-survivors and 'angels' braved the waters of the Bay mid-May, sailing out of Captree with wheelchairs anchored and those who wished lashed to the bulkheads! Fish was on the menu, and flatfish fluke were successfully sought and caught for that purpose. Regrettably we had no fish with our fries as not even one fluke reached the magic 19" length of a 'keeper'. The hilarious antics of the fishing party were a welcome injection of fun, and Robert Green was our fish-catching machine! We can't wait to repeat this social event again in the fall.  Stay tuned for date!

Helping Others........................
Stroke Life Society, in the spirit of helping others,  - donated 2 truckloads of medical equipment and supplies to the Muriel Gordon Foundation whose mission is to contribute to the improvement of healthcare and enhance the quality of life for poverty-stricken communities throughout the world.  See the "Community" tab on our website for more information.
                                   Seven Wonders of The World
                                              ~ Author Unknown
Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered them to be.  Though there was some disagreement, the following received the most votes: 1. Egypt's Great Pyramids, 2. The Taj Mahal in India, 3. The Grand Canyon in Arizona,  4. The Panama Canal, 5. The Empire State Building,
6. St. Peter's Basilica, 7. China's Great Wall.
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn't turned in her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The quiet girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:
1. to touch...
2. to taste...
3. to see...
4. to hear... (She hesitated a little, and then added...)
5. to feel...
6. to laugh...
7. and to love.
The room was so quiet, you could have heard a pin drop.
May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful - and we don't have to travel anywhere special to experience them.
Enjoy your gifts!
Survivor Spotlight..................
Ben Thomas

The world as I knew it changed forever on one hot summer day in 1998. I had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 47 with a young vibrant family and a successful career in bank finance. In a brief moment all I had known and believed was cruelly displaced seemingly forever. I was scared and felt emasculated fearing for the future of my family who I loved deeply and who depended on me. Bewildered and unable to fully comprehend what had happened, I felt broken and lost. At that time my mother gave me a compass set in a stone to help me find my way home and so after my hospitalization I plunged into a protracted rehabilitation regimen that ultimately included hundreds of physical and occupational therapies, biofeedback/psychotherapy sessions, Botox injections, trials with FES devices (Walkaide/ Bioness L300) for foot drop, many daily medicines to address the underlying cause/impact of my stroke (hypertension/ tremors, etc) and use of various short leg braces including the dreaded cane! Although my recovery was compounded by the subsequent discovery of a serious heart problem requiring implantation of multiple stents, I firmly believed that over time these efforts would restore my life as it was. It didn't and left me with several cognitive impairments and significant right sided physical deficits (leg and arm). Unable to resume my work in banking I soaked in depression over my hopeless loss of normalcy. My strength waned as my anger and frustration mounted. I was embarrassed (using a cane) and felt increasingly irrelevant and isolated despite the constancy and love of a large and proactive family.

John Lennon once wrote "that life is what happens to you when you're making plans". This was now my life to live having been essentially reborn as a result of my stroke and now hoping to redefine myself. I always loved history so I read. My grandmother instilled in me importance of fun in life so I sought anything that could make me laugh but still felt trapped in the "depth of my winter" of despair. Seeking others who had "walked in my shoes" I began attending a stroke survivor support group at Long Island Jewish Hospital and quickly felt connected and the comfort of expressing my inner self openly to others who intuitively understood. Rose Gonzaga-Camfield, our perceptive nurse stroke support meeting leader instilled in all of us the pivotal importance of the human spirit in treating the whole person and the mantra to "never stop moving". I discovered within myself a peace in sharing and a joy in helping others, restoring my self-esteem while re-energizing my life's goal to live strong. In September, 2010, I co-founded the Stroke Life Society a grassroots community driven organization dedicated to providing unconditional support services to both stroke survivors and co-survivors within an a "safe haven" environment shaped to humanize the face of stroke enabling survivors to laugh, share, make friends, help others and to eventually regain their spiritual footing in their own rebirth to live happy and productive lives. June 15th marked our 100th support meeting and for me the realization that with the help of so many others "I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer". I finally found my way home!

As we celebrate with family and friends at BBQ's and watching fireworks, don't forget those who made it possible.  Remember the men and woman who bravely fought and died for our freedom!


God Bless Our Troops!

In This Issue
Stroke Life Centenary
*New* Support Group Location
Save the Date
Website News
Sounds a Little Fishy!!
Survivor Spotlight
Featured Quote
Support Group Locations
Ongoing Beach Walk
Summer Meeting Schedule
Prayer Requests
Featured Quote....

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."


~ Albert Camus





Stroke Life Support Group Meeting Schedule:


Nassau County:

Levittown, NY

New Hyde Park, NY

Plainview, NY

Seaford, NY

Wantagh, NY


Suffolk County: 

West Islip, NY 




 dancing smiley 

Join us every Friday for our weekly stroll on the boardwalk.

11am at Jones Beach, Field 6 



Don't forget your sunscreen!

There will be NO Support Meeting at St. Francis de Chantal on Wednesday, July 4th because of the holiday.   
Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!!!







  Please note there will be NO Support Meetings for the summer months of June, July and August in New Hyde Park at LIJ Medical Center.


They will resume in September.






Let's pray for each other.


Click here to view all prayer requests


Click here to submit your prayer request