Stroke survivors starting support group

Diane
Diane Crocker
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Katie Colbourne and Jim Wheeler are attempting to start a stroke support group in Corner Brook.

CORNER BROOK — Katie Colbourne and Jim Wheeler are reaching out to help stroke survivors by starting a support group in Corner Brook.

The first meeting of that group will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at Colbourne’s home in the K.S.A.B. Manor on Wheeler’s Road.

Colbourne and Wheeler are both stroke survivors.

“We’re trying to get a bit more awareness,” said Colbourne. “Support for people, somebody to talk to and somewhere to go because there’s nothing here in Corner Brook at all.”

Four years ago, Colbourne, 56, had been a businesswoman and active volunteer. But her life changed drastically when she suffered a stroke and aneurism.

In August, she shared how her life has been since then with The Western Star, and spoke of how hard it is to fit in and of the loneliness she often feels.

She also mentioned an interest in starting a support group, but said at the time she didn’t have the courage to go it alone.

Then she met Wheeler, whose experience was a lot like hers, and together they decided to start the support group.

“To try to help some other people.”

Colbourne said everybody is different in their experience, but the thing that remains the same is “you never ever go back to your own self. It’s certainly not an easy thing to go through.”

Through the group, Colbourne said people will be able to share their stories and talk about concerns or issues they have.

She said it may help them to be able to talk about things with people who have had similar experiences.

“They know exactly what you’ve gone through,” she said.

She said they also plan to get some health professionals to come in and a talk with the group and to raise awareness among the public.

“You’ve got to walk in somebody’s shoes to see how hard it is,” Colbourne said.

Colbourne and Wheeler have been in contact with some other stroke survivors and expect about 10 people at the meeting. Once they meet and get acquainted, Colbourne said the members will decide how the group will proceed and how often it will meet.

For more information, contact Colbourne at 639-1487 or Wheeler 634-1289.

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Western Star

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  • I'm Just Saying .....
    December 06, 2012 - 07:18

    Congratulations! And I wish you every success. However, as someone who has experienced similar severe health issues and sought companionship & support from peer groups - may I offer a little insight? When a group of people get together & share their health & life challenges with the whole group, it then becomes a nightmare. You will certainly need a strong leader and facilitator to keep things ontrack in order to move forward in a positive, supportive way & not get bogged down focusing on your challenges. I have, personally, found great growth & encouragement, however, with the buddy system ..... i.e. one on one to share one's issues with. Aim to form a bond & treat your buddy like a best friend. On a regular (and I stress "regular") basis come together as a group for fun & information-sharing. Show a movie; have a guest speaker; acknowledge special occations - birthdays, etc. It helps to identify the group with a Name. I repeat - I sincerely wish you a flourishing & life-giving group. I look forward to hearing an up-to-date on how your group is doing. Blessings & Peace to all!

    • Jaclyn Roberts
      December 08, 2012 - 05:52

      Brad and I are very proud of you for having the courage to start this group!