Chuck Hofvander is a stroke survivor and fellow camper. He is writing short stories for this blog about those who come to camp. Not just survivors and care givers but staff, music therapists, etc. Attached is one of many that he has completed so far. These are cut and pasted from other sources and as a result Blogger does some automatic formatting I have no control over. Other than that, they are presented in their original form, and have been approved by those he is writing about.
Kyle and Lindsey Wilhelm Music Therapists
“We have to do this. We have to do Stroke Camp” This’s what Lindsey said to Kyle after her first experience at Stroke Camp in Iowa. Lindsey had gone to camp only one night but she was smitten. Lindsey and Kyle are music therapists from Cedar Rapids Iowa and he had never heard of Stroke Camp but she was so unrelenting that he went to the next camp in Rockford Illinois, over 160 miles away.
The two of them went and as Kyle says they had a “great experience” and they both got “hooked” on going to camp.
The first year at camp Lindsey recalls a young survivor who was determined to go back college. It was then she knew each survivor has their own story to tell. After hearing the stories each survivor has gone through Kyle says “I will never complain about anything ever again.” The stories made him feel like a “sissy”.
At a group session with survivors, caregivers, and support staff Kyle asked how survivors and care givers had managed to get through what stroke had done to them, “How in the world do you get through it, how as a couple do you stay together”. He took their advice and applied it to his own marriage “I want our marriage to be strong enough to survive something like stroke”.
Lindsey tells about how Stroke Camp has changed her approach with every one of her patients. She says she was very book smart about and how music affects the brain but as Lindsey now says she was “dumb” in respect to what individuals, both survivors and caregivers go through, and realized this as a result of Camp and dealing with stroke survivors.
Kyle adds that even if you are a therapist “You have to be a survivor or caregiver to actually know what they go through”
The couples advice to survivors and caregivers is never give up, never quit, and keep looking for ways to improve. Formal therapy stops but you can always look for options on ways to improve.
They finish saying “We get paid to do this?!” Kyle and Lindsey have so much fun they can hardly believe that they do. It isn't because they get paid that they come back each year; it is because of the heartfelt joy of being around such wonderful people.