Stroke Awareness Oregon

Stroke Awareness Oregon

Stroke Awareness Oregon

“Everyday when I get dressed, I realize how different my life could have been if I had gotten to the hospital sooner.”
Lawnae Hunter
SAO Founder & Stroke Survivor


Stroke Awareness Oregon, a community based nonprofit serving the Central Oregon area exists to make a difference in stroke outcomes and recovery. Our Board and Volunteers work to increase awareness about the importance of identifying stroke symptoms and getting immediate help. We also strive to increase understanding about stroke prevention and how stroke survivors and caregivers can receive support for a full, post-stroke life.

  • Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S.
  • Stroke is the number five cause of death in Oregon.
  • One in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime! It could be YOU or someone you love.


No Matter What | Amy E. Ford, Ph.D.

So you’ve had a stroke. Or someone close to you has. And now life is different—way different. In fact, life will never be the same again.

Chances are, you never thought this would happen to you—this could happen to you.

A loss of this magnitude takes a while to sort through. And it is indeed a loss. A loss of your independence, a loss of your finances. A loss of your personal privacy, and, in some cases, a loss of your personal dignity. A loss of your peace. Because now that it happened, your whole view of everything has changed.

It’s a loss of life as you once knew it.

In my work as a mental health professional, I have come to realize the deep and lasting impact of human loss. Loss is a natural part of life. But loss isn’t something that we talk about, or even think about (until we experience it ourselves). There’s a taboo around it. I think it’s because we often don’t know what to say or do, and so when we are around people who have experienced great loss, things just…get weird.

I’m sure that as a stroke survivor, you have experienced that same awkwardness from people around you—including people that you may have once been very close to. And this creates even more loss for you. It’s almost as if you suffered the losses from the stroke, and then suffered more losses because of the stroke, over and over again.

If this is you today, then you are in the right place. These words are written just for you. You are seen, and your feelings are valid. The loss you are experiencing deserves to be attended to. You deserve to be encouraged—to be given hope.

Because there is hope. Even though it might not feel like it.

Hope is often equated with a feeling, or even sometimes spiritual or existential beliefs. But did you know that hope is also a cognition, a strategy of thinking? You can create hope simply by the way you think.

Hope theory is a process of thinking developed by a positive psychologist named C.R. Snyder. Synder thought that hope was the ability to visualize goals and to develop the motivation to work toward them. Snyder’s view of hope—hope as a style of thinking—means that anyone, at any time, in any situation could have hope.

And hope is so very, very powerful. In a season of deep grief, great loss, hope is sometimes the only thing you have left. And hope is enough—it’s enough to get you through, until life feels good again.

In my next three articles, I will write about how to create hope, no matter your situation. I will write articles specifically for stroke survivors, for caregivers, and how to use hope to create meaning from your loss.

But for today, for now, close your eyes and breathe deeply. The tiniest light is breaking through. Even though you have lost so much, you haven’t lost everything. Because hope is something that you can never lose. It is only given away.

Hope may be the last thing you have control over. Hang onto it. It’s yours, no matter what.


Dr. Amy Ford is a licensed professional counselor and author. Her book, When Your Child is Grieving: God’s Hope and Wisdom for the Journey Toward Healing, will be available in bookstores on July 2, 2019. Amy is a senior instructor in the counseling program at Oregon State University Cascades. Correspondence about this article can be send to


Ways to Support the Campaign

Share the stroke Emotional Support Infographic to highlight and learn about recovery resources to support your emotional well being post stroke. Download and share Caregiver Resources to help you and/or your loved ones through the care-giving journey.


 Events and Activities


10-Week Chair-Based Group Exercise Class

Join us for a low-impact, fun group. Simple mobility movement with use of Chair or standing – encourages mobility movement and stretches and use of dumbbells. Please click on the above link for more information.


My Stroke of Luck   – coming to the Tower Theater on April 30, 2019

Written and performed by Diane Barnes

“Very honest…Very uplifting”  – London Free Press

“A delicate and powerful performance” Don Reed

“An amazing life story… a wonderful woman to spend 75 minutes with” London Yoedeller

“A story of how tenacious love can be in the face of adversity”


OSU-Cascades Offers free counseling – to members of the community.  If you are interested, go to the web link for information about the OSU-Cascades Counseling Clinic:

Interested clients can submit a web contact form or call us. Someone will get back to them after the first of the year. The clinic is open according to the academic calendar, and counseling is free to anyone age 14 and older in the community.


Bend Medical – Adaptive Equipment Used Equipment Swap

This is a great place to go, to find or sell used medical and adaptive equipment.  Just go to ‘Items for Sale’ if you are looking to buy.  There is also a place for you to become a member if you are looking to sell an item.  Please feel to contact Bend Medical- Adaptive Equipment if you have any further questions.


Now Available – Stroke Resource Guide Survey

This survey is to help provide Stroke Awareness Oregon with information that can benefit the community and to those who may be in need of help and don’t know here to start.


Join the Support Network

Connect with other stroke survivors and caregivers, share your story and more.  Recognize your family caregiver by nominating him/her as a Stroke Hero on ASA’s Facebook page.  Post inspirational messages within your social community to recognize and appreciate the many caregivers across the nation.  If you’re a healthcare professional or provider, you can also use our resources available on the Stroke Resource Center to help educate your staff, patients and community about stroke.


The important question… Why get involved?

  • As of 2017, stroke is the number five cause of death in Oregon alone!
  • In 2014, nearly 8,000 people were hospitalized for stroke in Oregon, with an estimated cost of $146 million for hospital care. Total cost is $34 billion per year nationally.
  • Stroke is the greatest cause of disability on earth.
  • Stroke strikes anyone regardless of age or gender — even infants!

Please join us as we work to change these statistics and improve the health and well-being of our community.  Please look for our up coming events and meetings here.

Join us to make a difference!

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