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Stroke camp... it's not just for the survivors

How does stroke camp benefit the caregivers?

Stroke camp is a program where stroke survivors can get away for a weekend and relax. It is something they may not have done for quite some time.

But it also gives the caregivers the chance to get some well-needed relaxation.

"It was nice and comforting to visit with someone who's been in your shoes," says Jamie Alesch, whose husband, Corey, suffered a stroke in March of 2015.

Jamie Alesch is a caregiver to her husband, and they both attended camp last year.

"I had not realized how weary I had gotten," says Alesch. "Attending that weekend away was a breath of fresh air."

It was a breath of fresh air from a foreign reality that is now a part of their lives.

"It's great because when they first get there, they kinda like 'I'm the only one that can do this. This is my job', and by the end of the weekend, they are letting the volunteers do these things for the stroke survivors so that they can have a break," says Nicole Shea, Stroke Program Manager at Mercy Medical Center.

At stroke camp, caregivers were able to visit with other caregivers, sharing their thoughts and feelings. This developed into new friendships with people who understand what is happening.

But it is not all about expressing the negatives.

"You are able to celebrate the milestones and the positives that we were experiencing and the blessings and to be able to share that with others, and share hugs, tears, and laughter," says Alesch. "That's really what the weekend was about."

"It makes a huge difference for them," says Shea. "They don't feel alone anymore."

To learn more about stroke came, visit their website.

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