Sunday, March 31, 2013

Charlotte, North Carolina, AANN Conference

by Lauren Kramer
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Coordinator  

Larry Schaer, Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp's Associate Director, and I got the privilege of going to beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina for the AANN conference.  AANN stands for the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses.  Lucky Larry drove the entire way there, but I flew down because I had to conduct a Chime Strokers concert the day that he needed to leave with our supplies.  

If you haven't heard of the Chime Strokers before, be sure to check out our website -

You can also listen to some of our songs on  

Anyway, so Larry drove and I flew.  He timed picking me up from the airport on Saturday perfectly, and we headed off for downtown to the Charlotte Convention Center.

You might ask why we went to the conference - well, we wanted to talk with the conference attendees about our DVD and our camps. The DVD is called "You've Had a Stroke, Now What? Insights from Survivors and Caregivers."  It is designed for hospitals, stroke centers, rehab facilities, etc... to distribute to their patients at discharge.  The DVD is over three hours long, but is broken up into 15 different topics that you can select and watch at your leisure. Of course, if you want to have a movie marathon and watch the whole thing you can do that, too - just be sure to have lots of popcorn on hand!  The categories on the DVD are:

1.) The New Normal: Life After a Stroke
2.) Family & Friends: Changing Roles & Relationships
3.) I Need a Nap!: Fatigue & Stroke
4.) Darnit! I Know That Word: Dealing with Aphasia
5.) Walking in Your Shoes: Advice FOR Caregivers FROM Caregivers
6.) Facing the Public: Going Out in the World Again After a Stroke
7.) Lean on Me: Stroke Support Groups/Stroke Camp
8.) Five Dark Clouds: Depression, Anger, Frustration, Sadness, Anxiety
9.) True Grit: Perseverance in Recovery
10.) Just One More Time: The Role of Exercise & Repetition in Recovery
11.) Creativity: Music & the Arts After a Stroke
12.) Faith & Inspiration: The Role of a Higher Power
13.) Don't Forget to Laugh: The Power of Humor in Recovery
14.) Attitude & Motivation: Finding Joy Again
15.) Out Takes & Credits

Here are a couple of photos of our booth that we set up at the conference.

In addition to our DVD's, we also had our other merchandise for sale-t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, hats, and Monica Vest Wheeler's book for caregivers Coping With Stroke.

 Now through May 15, you can save $5 off a hoodie!  Go to to place your order.  On the screen, after you enter your credit card information, there is a discount code box.  Simply enter the code "Hoodie", without the quotation marks, to get the $5 savings.

The conference was great!  We met so many wonderful people from all over the country, even as far away as Alaska!!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous with temperatures in the 70's each day we were there.  It was hard to force ourselves to go inside and not enjoy the warm temperatures.  As we drove home, we went through a cold front and lots of rain.  Then, as we pulled in to Peoria, it started snowing!  Talk about a shock to the system!!

Just to give you a taste of spring, here is a photo of a tree that was just starting to bloom.

Speaking of spring and flowers, Stroke Camp is doing a fundraiser through the great folks at Flower Power. Click > here < to order your spring flowers and bulbs!  50% of all proceeds will go to Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp.

Think Spring :-)

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