"Appreciation can make a day - 
even change a life."
~Margaret Cousins

We are appreciative of your support this year. Thanks to you, stroke survivors have the opportunities they need to rebuild and move forward with their lives. 

Stroke survivors benefit greatly from our innovative programming and refuse to have their lives defined by their stroke. They work together to reach common goals.

Please consider a tax deductible donation today. Your gift will make an immediate impact in the life of a stroke survivor.

Wishing you a joyful & blessed 2019.
Making It Through 
The Holidays
How to Survive Holiday Stress

by Jane Henderson, ASF Stroke Survivor Navigation Program Coordinator

Why are the holidays so stressful?

For most of us, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is probably the most stressful time of the year. We are bombarded with TV commercials showing idealized family gathering with big, fat turkeys and happy families opening presents and hugging others for their thoughtful gifts. We are also subjected to messages to buy, buy, buy during this time. The unspoken message is that we are not "good enough" if we do not give just the right present.

We see and smell fragrant Christmas trees, turkey, pumpkins pies, cinnamon, hot chocolate, peppermint and other things from our childhood that remind us of simpler, possibly happier times. Researchers have documented how strongly our memories are tied to smells. The olfactory bulb in the brain, which transmits information about smells detected in our nostrils, is connected to the parts of the brain that process emotion and memories . Because this is such a direct connection, a smell can trigger memories of the time when we encountered that smell in the past. Some memories are good and some are stressful.

Stroke Education Series

The American Stroke Foundation and The University of Kansas Health System partner to provide a stroke education speaker series as part of the ASF Next Step Program.

Wednesday, January 9, 11 am - noon
Stroke Location and Why it Matters
Sabreena Slavin, MD

Wednesday, February 6, 11 am - noon
When Can I Drive Again After Stroke?
Amber Conn, DRS/OTR

Classes meet at:
Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center, Room B 
6200 Martway St, Mission, KS

The Stroke Education Series is free and open to the public. Click  here to reserve your space today!
Meet Some Next Step Participants
The American Stroke Foundation Next Step Program is a wellness program to help people who have had a stroke continue to improve and regain independence in daily living skills.

Meet Jason
by Audrey Pumphrey, OT Student

Jason is a 41-year-old man who grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jason began participating in American Stroke Foundation (ASF) activities two years ago after experiencing a stroke in March 2016. When Jason is not participating at ASF he is most likely watching sports on the big screen with his dad, especially when his favorite team Michigan State is playing (although his dad wishes he was a University of Michigan fan)!  Jason also enjoys shopping for clothes and fun things for himself, spending time at the grocery store picking out his favorite foods, and spending time with his friends. 

Jason's father, Cleveland, brings Jason to ASF every week and goes out of his way to provide the best for his son. Jason's mother, Ora, is also a great support for Jason and is always helping him around the house. Together, Cleveland and Ora take Jason out into the community for fun activities and make sure he is living a fulfilling life despite any limitations from his stroke. 

Cleveland and Jason say ASF is a fun place for them that allows Jason to get out of the house and interact with other people. Since he has joined ASF, he is more active and has made many great friends. One of Jason's favorite parts of ASF is participating in "Creative Conversations" because it allows him to be able to work on his speech and communicate with other members. Jason also really enjoys being involved in all the fun exercise opportunities, especially aquatic therapy and using the NuStep machine. Overall, Jason enjoys interacting with all the friends he has made here at ASF and loves making new friends as well, especially if they love Beyoncé as much as he does!

Healthy Eating Recipe

Almond & Apricot Biscotti
by Mayo Clinic Staff

This twice-baked cookie is a classic with coffee or tea. The whole wheat and nuts provide the mineral manganese and the antioxidant selenium.

  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat (whole-meal) flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar and baking powder. Whisk to blend. Add the eggs, milk, canola oil, honey and almond extract. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough just begins to come together. Add the chopped apricots and almonds. With floured hands, mix until the dough is well-blended.

Place the dough on a long sheet of plastic wrap and shape by hand into a flattened log 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and about 1 inch high. Lift the plastic wrap to invert the dough onto a nonstick baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to another baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven set at 350 F.

Place the cooled log on a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 24 slices 1/2 inch wide. Arrange the slices, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional analysis per serving
Serving size: 1 cookie

Monounsaturated fat
1 g
Total fat
2 g
Saturated fat
2 g
Trans fat
15 mg
17 mg
Total carbohydrate
12 g
Added sugars
2 g
Dietary fiber
1 g
 Total  sugars
6 g 
HolidaysMaking It Through  The Holidays (continued)

How can we reduce our stress during the holidays and have a merry time?

The key is planning. And the best way to begin is to make a list of tasks that need to be completed during the holidays. This list might include the number of parties to attend; where each holiday celebration will be; the list of gifts to be purchased; and which visitors must be seen while they are in town. Once the list is made, go through it again and ask how to simplify the list: which activities can be eliminated; what traditions can be avoided; which activities would bring the family happiness.

Once you have simplified your list, sit down with your family and make a family holiday plan. Ask your family members to share in the tasks for the season. Do not be afraid to do things differently this year. Challenge any "family rules" about who does what during the holidays. Maybe it is time the kids had holiday dinner at their house; maybe gift purchasing could be shared; maybe the person with the new stroke should be a guest rather than the host for a party. Ask what traditions you could do without or what new traditions could be started.

Plan ahead for parties and meals. Make double batches and freeze some things. Keep extra supplies on hand for unexpected guests. Make food ahead so you are not stressed at the last minute. Ask for contributions to the meal from others who will attend. Give yourself permission to have a holiday event without food.

Find time for yourself. Include plans to do something that allows you to relax. Make things you want to do a priority rather than an after-thought. Keep control of your schedule so you are not overbooking activities. Find time to do something special for yourself. The point is to do something you enjoy during this stressful time.

Routines can be comforting at any time but especially during stressful times. So keep routines close to normal. Get a good night's sleep. Keep your bedtimes as close to normal as possible. Plan meals at the normal times and keep to that schedule. Plan for the tasks you must do each day and stick to the plan. Schedule some "down time."

Don't fret over young children. Accept that children will also be stressed and tired and not be able to control their behavior. They have a lot to distract them at this time of year and they have a short attention span! Include them in the planning and in the tasks. Remember that routines can be comforting for the children too, and plan to make those routines a priority. But most of all, savor the joy children find in the holidays!

Most important for all of us: take time to breathe in the scents of the seasons and breathe out the stress and chaos.
StoriesMore Next Step Participants

Meet Gary
by Lisa Mader, OTA Student

Gary, also known as "Gare-Bear" at the American Stroke Foundation (ASF), is described by his friends in the group as a "great guy."  He is a deep thinker, smart, kind and creative. They also say he is a good judge of character, determined, quiet, and engages in good conversations.  Gary likes to come to the ASF Program because when he comes he can be around other survivors, exercise and take part in activities. If he wasn't coming to ASF, he said he would be sitting in front of his TV doing nothing. Instead, he comes here to be with other stroke survivors who understand.
Gary said he wishes he could do things like he used to such as driving and working before his stroke nearly 5 years ago.  On February 5th, 2019 it will be 5 years since he woke up in his home in Emporia, Kansas and could not move . He called 911 himself and reported he had a stroke. He was taken to the hospital. He recalls being transferred to Topeka, Kansas to Stormont Vail Hospital where his brother and sister-in-law were waiting for him. After his acute hospital stay, he was transferred to Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital. He then moved to Kansas City, where his sister lives and checks in on him frequently.
Gary has a hobby of building railroad model sets that he would like to resume.  He planned to work a couple more years, but the stroke had other plans. He took great pride in his job working at Emporia State University for 30 years. Gary's advice for people with strokes is "don't have one." He has learned that people treat you different when you have had a stroke. Gary is determined and still going strong. 

Meet Les
by Hannah Traxler, OT Student

Les and his wife, Judy, have been married for 52 years! They love relaxing at home and doing puzzles in their free time. Les also enjoys working on his speech on his iPad at home. Les and Judy have a son who lives in St. Louis and flies hot air balloons. They also have a daughter who lives in the area and Les goes over to her house every other Saturday. Les enjoys going to his daughter's because he also gets to see his grandchildren a few of the Saturdays when they come home. Joyce, Les' sister, has also been a blessing in their life. She comes over to help out when needed and spends quality time with both Les and Judy. Les and Judy said they do not know what they would have done without their support system.
Before Les had his stroke he created woodwork and cabinetry. However, after the stroke his right side was affected and he experiences tremors in his hand, which makes it difficult to complete the woodworking tasks he used to. Les also enjoyed keeping up with the yardwork, which is now difficult after the stroke as well.
Les and Judy love the American Stroke Foundation because it provides a community of people who have been through similar situations and can relate. Les enjoys the activities, such as playing dominos in the afternoons and the workout he gets with the aquatics program. When asked about life lessons, Les gave the advice to slow down in life and take things as they come. Les and Judy also stated "Your whole life you look forward to retirement, and then when it comes you miss everything that you used to do, so enjoy life at every stage!"
As you begin your holiday shopping, don't forget to use AmazonSmile every time you shop on Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price on all eligible items to the American Stroke Foundation when you choose ASF as your charitable organization! For more information, go to .

ASF Locations
Business Office
6405 Metcalf Ave, Ste. 214 
Overland Park, KS 66202
ASF Next Step Programs
Sylvester Powell Jr. 
Community Center 
6200 Martway St
Mission, KS 66202
Legacy Park Community Center
901 NE Bluestem
Lee's Summit, MO 64086
Southeast Community Center
4201 E 63rd St
Kansas City, MO 64131

Contact Us
American Stroke Foundation

Executive Director

Program Director

Next Step Program Coordinator
Director of Marketing

Stroke Survivor Navigation Program Coordinator

Next Step  Program Coordinator

Next Step  Program Coordinator

Mission Facility Coordinator

Administrative Assistant

Donate a Vehicle
We can accept any vehicle, any condition! Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) processes all donations and provides tax receipts. The donation process is easy and completely free to donors. Call 1-800-269-6814 or click here to start the process online.
A Lasting Legacy
You can make sure the ongoing and future needs of individuals who have survived a stroke are met by including the American Stroke Foundation in your will or estate plans.  This might include a bequest, life insurance policy, or trust arrangement. Consult your attorney or financial adviser  on how you can make a planned gift.
ASF Board of Directors

Richard March

Sara Baker

Janice Sandt

Mary Jo Morrow

Betsy Rosetti Brown

Marques Mosby

Kathy Parker

Kimberly Poecker, DO

Karina Shreefer

Rakesh Vardey, MD

Advisory Board

Lyde Doston

Bob Frazier

Micki Harrison

Spence Heddens

Steve Israelite

Marilyn Rymer, MD

Robbie Small

Shirley Rose