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THERE IS HOPE! When I first heard that my younger brother (13 months younger) had a stroke I was greatly troubled. There definitely was disbelief in those troubled feeble. He is not perfect but he is a confident, self- sufficient and happy person. His whole life now centers around helping other stroke survivors with the assistance of his doctors and the YMCA. Now he also wants the message to spread to aid even more people. How do I feel now? I feel great happiness for my brother's recovery. I feel so much pride for him. Pride not only that he did not give up but that he wants to help others follow a similar road. He believes there are not stroke victims but stroke survivors. He is a stroke survivor who wants to get the word out there that there is hope and he can help you get there. I have no doubt that it can be done! He has succeeded and continues to succeed and so will YOU! l day for celebration. All of his work THERE IS HOPE! When I first heard that my younger brother (13 months younger) had a stroke I was greatly troubled. There definitely was disbelief in those troubled feelings. How could someone his age have this happen? Would he live? Would he be able to recover? Would he be able to talk, walk and move his arms? What side of the brain was damaged? So many questions needed to be answered. So many of the people that I knew that have had strokes never came out of them very well. Their lives as they knew them were over. I did not want to reconcile to those conditions for my brother. I waited for what seemed endless hours and endless days to hear news. He would live! I was so thankful. BUT--What would his quality of life be? There was so much concern for him and now even more questions to be answered. Would they be answered? When? What added to my stress over my brother was that he was 900 miles away from me. My husband's ailing mother was living with us at the time which made going to him an impossibility. I felt absolutely horrible. I could not help him in a tangible way. I was miserable. My brother started traditional therapy. It was so difficult for him and so very slow. That did not stop his persistence to succeed. I was told that he would not be able to progress too far-----too much damage. I was heartbroken. My brother never gave up the belief that he was going to be better. How was I going to take this knowing what I was told. I was so disheartened. How long would he keep his spirits up? He had many set- backs and falls which were very disappointing to him. He did not give up. Many months later he decided to go back to the gym to work out like he used to enjoy in the past. He met people there that started talking with him and trying different exercises to help him. This was also trying but his determination continued. He was taking a whole new approach to helping himself. He was working the larger muscles--- gross motor skills instead of the smaller ones first. The process was once again slow but he was starting to see small differences in his capabilities to do tasks and having better movement overall. This gave him the confidence to try other things that he thought impossible. My brother wanted to use his computer again. That would be a great help to him because writing was extremely difficult. Moving the mouse was tough. Continued work with his workouts helped even more and he was beginning to operate the mouse. That day was a wonderful day for celebration. All of his working out did not only help his physical being but his thought processes also. He was actually growing new neuron pathways to get his brain working to move his muscles to do tasks that he once felt were never to happen again. There was HOPE! Some time after this I found an article in the People Magazine-- health section. The article was about stroke victims that were making progress from vigorous exercise. Exactly what my brother was accomplishing. I called him immediately. We were so excited about this finding. I mailed him the article to study and share with others. My brother's doctor was amazed by his progress. The doctor was cautiously optimistic. Was this a fluke or was something new being realized? We had the feeling that something very special was about to be discovered. Several times I wondered why my brother had to have a stroke? Why did God decide on this outcome for my brother? I have heard that God often works in mysterious ways and there is no doubt in my mind that my brother went through this near tragic experience to make new discoveries and to help others. Yes--TO HELP OTHERS. The process my brother started at the gym took over two years. He has gained so much more of his life back than the doctors or the therapists ever thought possible.