Restoring Lives, Finding New Directions

Restoring Lives, Finding New Directions
 
All too often, when a stroke survivor leaves the hospital, there is nothing to help with a myriad of things confronting them. Once you leave the hospital, all support and necessary resources seem to evaporate. Like me, one may ask, “What’s Next?” Stroke Survivors CAN! aims to change all of that!
 
Stroke Survivors Can! has entered an exciting new phase, and we are now positioned to extend our resources, experience, and connections to others in the community who have been affected by a stroke and provide them with the tools needed to restart their lives, and navigate new challenges with support and purpose.
 
Already, Stroke Survivors CAN! is home to a free aphasia stroke survivors support group, and plans are underway for a free communication partner/significant other stroke survivors support group starting in June 2022. These are in-person and online, giving locally, nationally, and internationally! They also have speaking engagements and life coaching.
 
I am asking for your support with a donation to Stroke Survivor’s Can! through the Idaho Gives Organization. We are hoping to raise $30,000, and with those funds, we will be able to:
 
Add to our current content of information and resources
 
Provide additional support to navigate systems for basic needs
 
Update our website to provide information on the latest innovations in treatments, resources, and provide timely communication with those seeking assistance
 
Provide Life Coaching
 
Part-time staff to help us accomplish our goals
 
With your contribution Stroke Survivors Can!
 
More about our Executive Director, Kevin Rhinehart
 
I was a busy psychotherapist in Boise, Idaho, played the electric bass, and enjoyed my family and friends. My son asked me if I wanted to work out, something that I rarely did, with a friend in my family room. And then it happened. It was the evening of January 24, 2012. About halfway through, I was overcome by a sudden tiredness. I wanted to sleep, right then and there. I struggled to sit up, unaware that I had an ischemic stroke. The signs were there. I could not control half my face, the right side of my body would not work, and I could not speak. The ambulance was there in minutes, and I was rushed to the hospital.
 
I remember I was going in and out of consciousness and feeling nothing except a little curiosity of why I could not speak. Apparently, my “elevator was not going to the top floor,” so to speak. I could not speak or walk, swallowing was a challenge, I could not tell what the letters were on the keyboard, and I was restricted to a wheelchair.
 
I thought my life was over. In fact, life as I knew it was over. I had to relearn all the basic functions of life, like walking, speaking, and typing through therapy at the rehab hospital. And I threw myself into getting better, even after getting out of the hospital.
 
Along with some encouragement from Idaho State University, along with some other stroke survivors, I cofounded the aphasia stroke support group. And then I moved to Kona, Hawaii when my wife accepted a job there. In October 2015, I volunteered at a run station during the Ironman World Championship. I was not interested in triathlons, but it was something to do. By the end of it, I thought I could do something like that. Weird. Mind you, I was pretty nonathletic since my forties, and I detested running. But could I do something like that to prove to myself and other stroke survivors that life was not over?
 
I accepted the challenge of relearning how to swim, learning to ride a triathlon bike, and running in spite of my physical disabilities, all the while saying to myself, stroke survivors can. Finally, in October 2016, after completing an intensive training program, I crossed the finish line to hear “You are an Ironman” at the Ironman World Championship.
 
Fast forward to today, I founded Stroke Survivors CAN!, a nonprofit to help stroke survivors begin to live again. The slogan says it all: Restoring Lives, Setting New Directions.
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Organizer

Kevin Rhinehart 
Organizer
Meridian, ID