COVID-19 as it was called when it started hit Canada in winter 2020 such that by spring most stroke meetings in-person were canceled and online services for stroke took off. Internet services (Zoom, Facebook, e-mail) became the prime communications between stroke survivors. Over the next years it became the place to meet other stroke survivors and compare notes on services, standards, etc. A small group of stroke survivors in Ontario had formed, and through national Zoom meetings, two members—Ron Reddam of Toronto and Bruce Young of Vancouver—decided that a national group would be better. A couple of postings to see if there was interest quickly grew to survivors from across Canada. The first monthly meeting occurred in May 2022 nominating a chair and executive. Quickly it became apparent through survivors lived experiences that there were many factual gaps in the post treatment of stroke survivors and services across Canada, as no adopted national standard existed and was applied. Each province had limited approaches to stroke treatment and thus had limited services as each province had control of their own health budget. COVID made the services worse and brought the disparities to light. We, the survivors, believed we could be the focal point for survivors across Canada to note such gaps and discrimination as no one group was advocating for us. We are currently expanding our reach across Canada to document this.
We are all Canadian Stroke survivors and our group is non-discriminatory, has no political alignment, is non-partisan, non-medical, and not aligned with any charity or non-profit organization. As a hub of a wheel, we do work with other groups. We meet monthly.
We can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]