Restoring Lives, Finding New Directions

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Restoring Lives, Finding New Directions

All too often, when a stroke survivor leaves the hospital, there is nothing to help with a myriad of things confronting them. Once you leave the hospital, all support and necessary resources seem to evaporate. Like me, one may ask, “What’s Next?” Stroke Survivors CAN! aims to change all of that!

Stroke Survivors Can! has entered an exciting new phase, and we are now positioned to extend our resources, experience, and connections to others in the community who have been affected by a stroke and provide them with the tools needed to restart their lives and navigate new challenges with support and purpose.

Already, Stroke Survivors CAN! is home to a free aphasia stroke survivors support group. These are in person and online, giving both locally, nationally, and internationally! They also have speaking engagements and life coaching (fee based).

But we need your help!  

One can offer all the bells and whistles to the stroke survivors, but without them knowing about it, are efforts would be in vain.  I am asking for your support with a donation to Stroke Survivors Can! We are hoping to raise $15,000, and with those funds we will be able to:

  • Develop and print brochures, signs for display, tent for outdoor display events, and entry fees with display opportunities
  • Transportation costs to meet potential referral sources
  • Entertainment costs, such as coffee or lunches, to meet with potential referral sources 
  • Open House

More about our Executive Director, Kevin Rhinehart

Before the stroke, I spent my professional life helping others as the licensed therapist, which I loved. After work one night, my son asked me if I wanted to work out with him and a buddy in my family room. What the heck. I wasn’t doing anything, and I could lose some weight. Not long into it, I suddenly felt exhausted, and I laid down… right there on the floor. I was not able to walk or talk, and my face looked odd. Unbeknownst to me, I had a serious ischemic stroke. I was rushed into the hospital, received TPA, was spent time at a stroke rehab facility.

That was January 24, 2012. In short, I thought my life my over.

A piece of plaque traveled up my left carotid artery and various parts became stuck in my left brain, causing the affected parts of my brain to die. Because it was on the left side of my brain, speech was impossible, and the right side of my body was seriously impaired. I could read, but I could not identify letters. I had trouble writing, standing, swallowing, balancing, and had to sit in a wheelchair. I had to quit my job that I loved, and I could no longer play my electric bass due to an uncooperative right hand.

I received invaluable support from my girlfriend (who later became my wife), children, colleagues, and friends. I had speech, occupational, and physical therapy from the hospital where I was a patient, and I continued outpatient therapy after being discharged for a short time until my insurance ran out. When I could no longer afford it, I relied on the health providers who graciously gave me discounts (some by as much as 100 percent). With encouragement from the Idaho State University Speech and Language Program, I helped start an Aphasia Stroke Recovery Support Program for stroke survivors.

I also improvised. After about 12 months after my stroke, I began working out, riding my bike short distances, weights in the gym, and swimming. As my stamina slowly increased, I began to go on longer bike rides and swims. I remember the days when I could go 10 miles on my bike and swim 200 yards, and I was so proud of myself. I wasn’t this active prestroke for decades!

In June 2015 I moved to Kona on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii after my wife was offered a job there. It must have been God intervening because soon after my move I found a new purpose in life. On October 10, 2015, I volunteered at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I had a lot of fun and it got me thinking… “I could do something like that.” So, I do not what possessed me, but I decided to do triathlons.

Thus, I began my new purpose in life. Instead of helping people from a therapist’s chair, I repurposed my life to helping stroke survivors find meaning and hope for their lives. I wanted to show them that their lives are not wasted; that through hard work, they can once again find meaning in their lives.

Since having a stroke, I have met countless other stroke survivors and their communities (partners/spouse, family, friends, coworkers, etc.) who don’t know where to look for help. So often, this leads to a complete loss of hope. So, I formed Stroke Survivors CAN! in 2018. Though this nonprofit organization, it is giving stroke survivors and their communities hope and empowerment through restoring lives and setting new directions.

Restoring Lives, Setting New Directions.


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Stroke Survivors Can Inc

A 501(c)(3) Public Charity

EIN 83-0925139