Monday, November 14, 2016

The emotions of capturing Stroke Camp

By Monica Vest Wheeler
Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp Staff Volunteer

There's no better job in the world than being a volunteer for Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, and being able to capture so many special memories with my camera makes the experience even more priceless.

I had no idea when I starting shooting photos at my first camp in June 2008 that I'd create this obsession with photographing people and amass this collection of thousands and thousands of images. But what I witnessed was amazing and beautiful from Day 1, and that love continues to this day.

I give so many thanks to Marylee Nunley, executive director of Stroke Camp, who invited me to find my own way to reach out to stroke survivors and caregivers. She has this unique ability to bring out the talents and skills of volunteers during that service to campers. That experience truly changed the course of my life in the best way possible.  

I'm extremely blessed to have about 70 of my favorite and the most meaningful photographs I’ve shot in the last nine years, on display during November at the downtown gallery of the Peoria Public Library. Many of these images come from the 89 Stroke Camps I've attended across the country, in addition to the traumatic brain injury camps I connected with starting in 2012.

If you're in the Central Illinois area, please stop by to see me and the exhibit at a special reception at the gallery in downtown Peoria from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, November 19. You'll also find display cases filled with examples of assistive devices on loan from Stroke Camp.  

Here are just a few samples of the many photos I've shot at Stroke Camp in the last nine years that you can see at the display.  ­

1 comment:

Chuck J. said...

Definitely putting this on my calendar. Wouldn't want to miss this. I've seen many of your photos, Monica, and I wish I had your talent for capturing those unique, emotional moments.