Stroke camp helps develop new bonds between stroke survivors and caregivers

Local News

JUNCTION CITY — Stroke survivors and care givers are walked away with new friendships and a new outlook on life after the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp in Junction City.

The camp is a way for volunteers to show campers that they’re not alone in adjusting to life after a stroke.

For stroke survivors and their caregivers, the whole experience can be pretty isolating.

But, at Stroke Camp, it’s anything but that. It’s actually the catalyst for forming new friendships.

While it may seem like an ordinary camp getaway, the experience it creates for campers is pretty unique.

“We offer some education, we offer a lot of fun,” said Camp Director Cheryl Johnson. “i think probably the biggest thing is trying to encourage the comaraderie and the support from one another.”

In addition to the fun activities, support has been a highlight of the camp for Marvin Stovall and his wife, who are first time campers.  

“It’s been the best experience we have had in the past two and a half years since my wife had a stroke,” said Stovall.

Marvin said it’s been tough adjusting to life as a caregiver, but after coming to Stroke Camp, he learned he’s not alone.

“We were on an island by ourselves and this puts us right in the middle of a big island full of people just like us and that’s so important,” said Stovall.

Stroke survivor and also a first-time camper Mary Jo Fay knows just how isolating a stroke can be.

“There’s so much depression, so much angst,” said Fay. “There’s so much anxiety and you feel so alone.”

After it caused her to lose the ability to do every day tasks, coming to camp has helped her regain something just as important — her smile.

“To come to a place where other people understand things as simple as putting on your shoes that you can’t do or you know, getting a cup of coffee and you can’t lift it,” said Fay. “Coming here where people understand that, it’s amazing.”

While they came as individuals with different struggles, they left as a family, with the same objective — to support one another.

To learn more about Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp, click HERE.

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