Sunday, November 11, 2012

Survivor Story - Testimony from Teri and Larry Bobko

RETREAT and REFRESH STROKE CAMP™ EXPERIENCE:

Testimony from Teri and Larry Bobko 
interview by Chuck Hofvander

Do you remember an old TV commercial about Master Card, the credit card company?  I think about that when I try to share with people how the Stroke Camp weekend was for Larry and me.  The miles traveling to our camp location, 80 miles, the time away from family, 3-days, the memories and friendships made -- priceless!

Larry and I have attended a stroke support group near our home for more than five years.  It is a place where we have met many wonderful people whose lives, like ours, turned in a life changing way because of stroke injury. We share stories and concerns and have developed close friendships with many great people we would never have met had it not been for his health situation.

At one of our meetings, we were told about a Stroke Camp Weekend and some activities that might take place.  I was instantly excited by the opportunity to be away from home for a few days to “refresh” ourselves while being in the company of professionals who would help us engage and enjoy some things we no longer participated in.

Larry was more hesitant from the start but he said, “It’s only two days” and went along for my sake, knowing how much I could use the break from our everyday routine.

We were greeted by many welcome smiles, genuine help and fun things to do from the very start.  Our rooms were ready and lovely.  The meals were gourmet and we were treated like royalty for the entire weekend.

There were many opportunities for survivors to be alone to share their stories and learn from each other.  Likewise, caregivers were given set times to be with others who act as cheerleaders and coaches for their loved ones.  We were blessed to have so many wonderful professionals and volunteers to help us feel pampered and empowered all at the same time.

Some activities included: fresh air walks or golf cart rides on the scenic grounds, music therapy which included hands-on time to play lots of musical instruments, crafts including trying your hand and creativity with wooden materials, tile embellishments and even ‘soup in a jar’ to make as a gift – measuring ingredients into a clear jar by following simple directions.

We left that wonderful weekend not only renewed and refreshed; we left there with a new sense of hope and joy in our marriage.  It was wonderful to see my husband be silly and spontaneous again.  It was great to relax, have fun again and to share concerns and help each other find some new answers to our common challenges.

Time spent at Stroke Camp Weekend, priceless indeed!

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