Happy Thanksgiving from the American Stroke Foundation!

We hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with good food and good friends.

December 2, 2020

GivingTuesday brings together a global community around ideals of generosity and collective action.  After the retail events of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday provides an opportunity for people around the world to support what matters most to them.

Please consider making a donation on December 2 to empower stroke survivors and their families to overcome the challenges of life after stroke.

Busy that day? Click  here to make a gift now!

From all of us at the American Stroke Foundation thank you for your support on #GivingTuesday and every single day you help to further our mission.

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, December 4, 11 am - noon
Sexual Health and Healing after Having a Stroke
Kimberly Vandegeest-Wallace, PhD

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!

Watch November's presentation "Charge Your Brain After Stroke Through Exercise" by Sandra Billinger on our Facebook page.
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 Josh 
by Jayme Rossow, OT Student

Josh's stroke occurred 13 years ago and since that day he has found himself with a strong support system and faithful service dog. Josh's support system includes his mom, dad and longtime friends, who encourage him to stay involved in different activities. Josh's mom shared his friends have been with him before his stroke and the 13 years since. His support system ensures he doesn't miss out on activities by keeping him involved.

Another member of his support system and family is his service dog, Bing. Bing has been with Josh for two years and was bred and trained through the Kansas Specialty Dog Service (KSDS). KSDS is located in Washington, KS where they train their dogs for a multitude of needs. Bing was trained to help individuals with a physical disability complete their everyday living activities. Each dog is valued at $25,000 but there is no cost to the recipient. Josh says Bing assists him with his balance, as before getting Bing he walked with a cane. Bing also retrieves items around the house, opens doors, pushes handicapped door buttons and tugs Josh's coat off in the winter.

Josh enjoys attending the American Stroke Foundation (ASF) because of the social interactions and cognitive aspect. The classes assist him in getting out of the house to socialize, meet new people, and to participate and learn different, new activities. After his stroke Josh says he has learned to live in a one-handed, one-legged world. For example, learning to tie his shoes one-handed. He enjoys playing with Bing and being a hometown supporter by cheering on the Chiefs! Those at the Kansas City North location can all agree Josh is a kind, engaging and easy-going member of the North family who is always guaranteed to bring a laugh and a smile to the day. ASF is happy to have Josh as a participant and the support of his family!

Healthy Eating Recipe

Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
from Mayo Clinic Staff

Instead of using canned sweet potatoes and marshmallows, this recipe uses fresh sweet potatoes and a lighter glaze that brings out the flavor of the sweet potatoes and saves calories.

Serves: 8

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into wedges
  • Cracked black pepper or chopped herb of choice (rosemary, sage or thyme), to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

To make the sauce, in a small bowl add the water, brown sugar, honey and olive oil. Whisk until smooth.
Place a single layer of sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes. Turn to coat them.

Cover and bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Turn the sweet potatoes once or twice to continue coating them. When tender, remove the cover and continue to bake until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with pepper or chopped herb of choice. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving
Serving size:  about 2/3 cup

Total fat
2 g
2 g
Monounsaturated fat
1 g
0 mg
Saturated fat
<1 g
Total carbohydrate
31 g
Trans fat
0 g
Dietary fiber
4 g
42 mg
Added sugars
8 g

StoriesMore Next Step Participants

Meet John "Mac"
by Jaidyn Johnson, OT Student

John "Mac" joined the American Stroke Foundation (ASF) in July. He had a stroke in July of 2017. Although he is fairly new to ASF, he has quickly made an impact with his humorous and friendly personality. When he is not participating in various ASF activities, you can find him spending time with his children and grandchildren. Mac has 7 biological children, 15 foster children, and a lot of grandchildren to keep him busy. You might also find him watching action or crime movies. Mac also enjoys bass fishing with his brothers - he loves a little friendly competition!
Mac has a strong support system through his family, and he is happy to report that ASF has invited more supportive people into his life. At ASF, you can find him playing dominoes and working on brain games each morning with other participants. His favorite part of ASF is the exercises, the friendships, and the overall caring atmosphere. He says he is glad his children encouraged him to check out ASF because it has a supportive environment and it encourages him to do his best and keep moving forward.
Since his stroke, Mac says he has become more caring, empathetic, and proud of his children. He says he is extremely proud of the things his children accomplish, and he is appreciative of all they do for him. He believes life is a gift, and it shouldn't be taken for granted. He says, "Enjoy what you have because it can disappear in a matter of minutes". We are thankful to have Mac at ASF. He shows compassion for others, and he is always bringing light to any given situation.

Meet Robert
by Audra Miller, OT Student

A testimonial given by Robert, a participant at the American Stroke Foundation:
"I would like to start by saying that October is my favorite month. It represents many things; I have always enjoyed the changing of seasons into the fall, and now I enjoy October for a different reason: it is the anniversary month of my stroke, which occurred 2 years ago. My life was very charming before my stroke. I feel that while I worked hard for the two successful careers in my life, everything seemed easy. I gained many achievements in my careers. I was able to make "big" life decisions at 30 and then again at 50 to change careers. I used to live life looking at a 5-year plan and what was going to happen next. Since my stroke, I am thankful that my cognition returned and I'm able to think about each aspect of my day and how to plan it accordingly. Accepting this as my new regular has been such a big deal in my recovery. I appreciate order in my life through my daily routines, even in recovery and rehabilitation. My morning routine includes stretching, doing the small things like making my bed and my personal hygiene, and then including my morning prayers into my routine. I enjoy getting out of the house and attending my scheduled therapies and programs throughout the week. Routine and schedules are important to me. I attend ASF on Mondays and Wednesdays and I enjoy going to a church-based group on Fridays. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I enjoy the exercise classes, outings, and aquatics in the afternoons."

Robert continued, "After my stroke happened, two of my closest friends came to my rescue and assistance. They took me to appointments, therapies, and were a large part of my recovery afterwards. Since my stroke, one of my close friends has experienced brain surgery which has allowed me to give back to this friendship by helping with transportation to therapy, appointments, and helping manage his meals for him. I have learned to be patient with the patient, which also means being patient with myself," he says as he flashes a quick smirk across his face, chuckling at himself.

Robert, with his background in Special Education, and another stroke survivor, Tom, with a background in Social Work, have teamed together to create a class for stroke survivors lead by stroke survivors. Robert describes the class, 'Messaging with Tom and Robert', as "a conversation amongst peers. It's not heavy, it's a group of people getting together to make conversation and express ourselves when we're not able to express ourselves or aren't comfortable expressing ourselves around other people." He continued, "Life has taught me to appreciate the confidence that I've always had, and to realize that I still have confidence to do anything. I can experience anything and enjoy it. 'Messaging with Tom and Robert' allows us to gain confidence in ourselves through each other. All of these things are learned things, and we can learn them here through and with one another."

Lastly, Robert described how ASF has changed his views on life: "Coming here has made me realize how fortunate I am. I am allowed to step outside of myself and it's a steppingstone to my re-learning. This step has allowed me to slow down and re-learn what my next step should be. I am in this program with the other participants here with me, which is meaningful to me. We achieve small goals and big goals together. I can sit down with new people and see what they are going through and how I can help them with their journey from my journey. I have had a good life, even a fortunate life, and I want to share my good fortune with others."

Save the Date ...

Healthcare Professionals Conference

February 28, 2020

Conference line-up and registration information available in December
Save The Date ...

Stroke Walk 2020
September 12, 2020
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

Kansas City North 
Community Center
3930 NE Antioch Rd
Kansas City, MO 64117

Choose ASF as your charitable organization every time you shop on and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price on all eligible items to the American Stroke Foundation. Go to to sign-up and begin donating!
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.