The Online Newsletter of Stroke Life Society

"United In Pursuit Of Living And Helping Others"
December 2012
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A Special Note.................

Dear Friends,


I, as I'm sure most of us, always reflect at this time of year. There is a special joy that comes from the Holidays; and yet there is often a sense of sadness. We miss so dearly those who are no longer with us. We rush to prepare and often forget what the Season is all about. Thanksgiving Day is now a shopping day. A day that is meant to be for family and loved ones to enjoy each other's company and give thanks for all our Blessings has now been given the all too tempting distraction to shop for those incredible sales!! Is it not better to BE present with each other than to tirelessly shop for presents?  

            It was just over 2 years ago that Ben Thomas and I started this "Journey" called Stroke Life Society. We saw a great need for the stroke community. We had a vision and true commitment to make a difference. No thoughts of grandeur; just a simple vision and a passion to make a difference by helping people - unconditionally. Isn't that what love is all about? And isn't that what we are all called to do?

            This has been an amazing year. We have grown to 8 support groups that meet monthly and have close to 150 members. We are not just a society of people - we are a family.  Our Recycled Medical Equipment and Supply Program is also expanding and we continue to collect and donate unwanted, used items to all those in need, whether or not they've had a stroke.  Goals for next year include reaching even more homebound people through our Visitor Program.

            My sincere thanks to all of you! Our success is measured by the positive difference we make in the lives of others.  With your continued interest and efforts to help, I know that 2013 will be another wonderful year for Stroke Life Society!

            I would like to personally wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Healthy and Happy New Year!


May God's Peace and Blessings be with you always!


Darleen Schauder


Hurricane Sandy................



Sending lots of love to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Is that Shari with Dr. Oz?................



Why, yes it is!!  Shari is one of our youngest members and was chosen to be on the Dr. Oz Show in a segment about stroke and its incidence in young women. We don't know just yet when the show will air.  Shari also met Dr Sanjay Gupta (CNN's TV doctor & real-life neurosurgeon) who will be on the show too.  We will keep you posted.  Click here to read Shari's story.

Avi is Golden....................

We were privileged to host three renowned and engaging guest speakers at our December 13th Hicksville venue. Avi Golden, himself a stroke survivor with aphasia, is well-known to a number of Stroke Life members as a therapy enthusiast and a pioneer in recovery.  Another young stroke survivor with aphasia was Yvonne Honigsberg who shared her inspirational story of hope and survival.  Avi and Yvonne were joined by Judy Cavallo, Director and Founder of New York Speech Consultants.  The presentation was very informative with a generous question and answer segment.  Unfortunately, the one question still left unanswered for all is "What am I getting for Christmas?"

Better off with Botox?................... 

Members attending the October Guest Speaker event experienced a real treat served to them by spasticity specialist Dr. John Kelemen. Dr Kelemen was so successful in conveying his hopes and enthusiasm to the audience with his hands-on presentation that one of our members was inspired to write "The Hippocratic Oath Is Alive and Well".  Click here to read this story.

Holiday Humor................
What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?Claustrophobic.

What do snowmen eat for breakfast?


Where do reindeer go to dance?

Christmas balls.

What do you get if you cross mistletoe and a duck?Christmas Quacker.


It was Hanukkah and the tiny village was in fear of not having any latkes because they had run out of flour.
Rudi, the rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem.
He said, "Don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour and the latkes will be just as delicious!"
Shela looked to her husband and said, " think it'll work?" and Mortey said, "Of course! Everybody knows.........................
Rudolph, the Rab, knows grain dear!" 

 Holiday Spirit
                                              ~ Gail Satler


I never fail to notice Christmas trees tied to the roofs of cars this time of year. And I never fail to smile at the sight. Amid the blur and whir of the rush that seems to come with the holidays, and in a world of ever increasing dependence on and preference for technology, this tree bears witness to all that stands in opposition-defying the impulse.


I like to think of the fact that someone (if not the people who bought the tree) took the time to select and cut the tree that seems right for them. It had to be tied to the roof carefully so as not to fall or lose its branches. Then it will be removed, placed in someone's home and decorated, watered and eventually taken down. The ornaments often are ones from Christmases past and some are added to mark the additional growths and changes of families. Some are handmade, imperfect and yet cherished. Like the rings on trees, these ornaments hold a family history or one being made. It isn't an easy process but it is necessary for those who maintain the traditions that could too easily be replaced by artificial and more convenient alternatives. But they are not.


I like to imagine who the owners are in the way I imagine the lives of people I encounter on a subway or in an airport. This exercise however, unlike the latter two always renders a happy ending, if not an amusing one. Those who purchase trees that are so large they barely fit on top of the roof or those whose purchase is made Christmas Eve. Over estimations or procrastinations are forgiven, even admired. I love that people take the time to stop their app driven, fiscal cliff burdened lives and perform this ritual. It is a hopeful and reassuring sign for me, even though I do not celebrate Christmas. I experience this holiday from the outside looking in, and this vignette encapsulates for me all that is wonderful about this holiday season and people who maintain such activities.


Click here to read more of Gail's writings

Member Spotlight..................
Don Camfield
We have Angels too - (and Santa??)

Santa Claus is a jovial fellow. He's full of fun & laughter, wears a red suit and sports a white beard and a silly red hat. With the exception of the red suit, this almost describes one of our members of the "angels" variety, Don Camfield. Don hails from the northern part of the island of Great Britain, a.k.a. Scotland, so is quite used to the sort of cold blast of a chill wind that you'll experience at the North Pole. To add to his credentials, he was born during a 6ft snowfall.


In a former life, back in "the auld country" Don owned a nursing home. This was where he had his first experience with stroke survivors. He distinctly remembers how humorous and totally uninhibited some of his stroke patients became. One gentleman - a former broadcaster on the BBC - suffered left-sided weakness, but was quite deft with his right hand "seeking-out" the pretty nurses. Happy Days!


Don is now at the same age as his mother when she died of a hemorrhagic stroke. He was present with his 7-year-old daughter when her "Nanna" collapsed into a coma, and present again 3 days later when she died in ICU. He was soon to learn that near- instant demise following stroke was atypical and significant research was being undertaken in respect of the many aspects of stroke risk factors, stroke awareness, stroke prevention and stroke treatment. The key to his education can be summed-up in one word, "Rose".


Rose Gonzaga (founder of the original LIJ stroke support group) was a clinical research specialist for stroke and totally immersed in the NINDS trial for the evaluation of tpa in the treatment of ischemic stroke when she first met our wannabe Santa. Such were the demands of the stroke trial in these heady days that the couple spent their 'honeymoon' 3000 miles apart, with one party at a stroke research conference in California, and the other working in NYC. Their nightlife was similarly unusual. The newlyweds were frequently roused in the early hours of the morning (sometimes more than once) by the not-so pleasurable sound of the pager. This heralded a series of events: phone call to the ER, a quick change and a rapid ride to the hospital for Rose to meet the 3-hour window for administering the new tpa wonder drug. Don would drive to accelerate the procedure come rain or shine. Of course the reindeer and sleigh were particularly useful during the New York winters!


Don has had an eclectic career which has included 25 years as a manufacturer in the food industry. Concurrently, he immersed himself in commercial writing which involved researching a subject and publishing the written result. He used this ability to "go the extra mile" in understanding the raison d'etre of his wife's career, and escorted her to many stroke conferences. For years he has attended the American Heart Association's Stroke Division Annual International Convention, subsequently to become the American Stroke Association's key annual get-together. Don acquired for himself a deeper knowledge of the stroke spectrum at these venues by paying his dues, becoming a 'Council Member' and attending many of the lectures at each gathering. He aims to attend the 2014 Convention to promote the example and benefits of the Stroke Life Society.


Whether it be chairing a Stroke Life support group, joking & being corny, or making written contributions, Don hopes these gifts, just like those from Santa, will be graciously accepted - whether you want them or not!


Warmth of Peace
Glow of Happiness
Sparkle of Joy...
May you be Blessed with all of these and more!



In This Issue
A Special Note
Hurricane Sandy
Is That Shari with Dr. Oz?
Avi is Golden
Better off with Botox?
Holiday Humor
Member Spotlight
Featured Quote
Support Group Locations
Guest Speaker Schedule
Ongoing Beach Walk
*Meeting Cancelation*
Prayer Requests
Featured Quote....

"There is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together."

   ~ Mother Teresa



Stroke Life Support Group Meeting Locations:


Nassau County:


Hicksville, NY

Levittown, NY

New Hyde Park, NY

Plainview, NY

Seaford, NY

Wantagh, NY


Suffolk County: 


West Islip, NY 



Please join us for presentations by guest speakers on stroke related topics at our Hicksville location every 4th Wednesday of each month at 1pm. 

William Bennett Community Center
28 West Carl Street
Hicksville, NY 11801

All are Welcome!
Click here for Guest Speaker schedule and topics

 dancing smiley 

Because of Hurricane Sandy, we can no longer have our weekly strolls on the boardwalk at Jones Beach.  We will start "strolling" again in January at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.


Meet 11am

Every Friday at Driving Range 



Don't forget your jacket
Don't forget your jacket!




Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.

                   ~ John Wayne




Please note there will be NO Support Meetings at St. James 

(December 26th)

and Plainview Hospital

(December 27th)


Meeting will resume in January.





Let's pray for each other.


Click here to view all prayer requests


Click here to submit your prayer request