Mackenzie Scharf is the program coordinator for the Comox Valley chapter of the Stroke Recovery Association of B.C. Photo by Scott Strasser

Mackenzie Scharf is the program coordinator for the Comox Valley chapter of the Stroke Recovery Association of B.C. Photo by Scott Strasser

Comox Valley stroke recovery organization creates new support group for survivors, caregivers

Program coordinator Mackenzie Scharf says awareness of local resources is lacking

The Comox Valley branch of the Stroke Recovery Association of BC (SRABC) is looking to establish more resources for the Valley’s growing population of stroke survivors.

Program co-ordinator Mackenzie Scharf said the local chapter is trying to drum up interest for a new stroke survivors and caregivers support group. The group plans to meet twice a month, while monthly information sessions on stroke rehabilitation will also be held.

“We had our first session today and nobody showed up,” said Scharf, on March 20. “I believe [awareness of resources] is lacking in the Comox Valley.”

The next meeting is scheduled for March 27. Following that, meetings are scheduled for April 17 and 24, and May 22 and 28. The meetings run from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and take place at the Courtenay library on Sixth Street.

The SRABC is a non-profit organization that provides stroke recoverers (and those affected by the disease) with information, resources, and programs when they’re released from hospitals. The organization was founded in 1979.

According to the SRABC, there are roughly 6,500 people in B.C. who suffer from stroke each year, with a growing need for services and programs for survivors.

The organization’s statistics also show that strokes have risen by 24 per cent among individuals in their 50s, and 13 per cent among those in their 60s. Both age groups are common demographics in the Comox Valley.

“It’s very easy going through the recovery process to feel like you’re the only one suffering from it,” said Scharf. “We feel having this group that can meet monthly will show they’re not suffering alone and they can meet people going through similar challenges.”

The local branch currently offers the Community Navigator program. Through the program, Scharf meets with stroke survivors for one hour to discuss their history, what resources they are using, and what resources they might not realize are available.

“It’s a chance for me to hear their story and figure out how we can better help them within the community and get them back to a normal way of living,” she said.

Scharf also mentioned a new program that the chapter will introduce next fall.

The Next Steps program — which she said has been successful in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley — is a mall-walking group for stroke survivors. Participants walk at their own pace through an indoor mall, with access to washrooms and seating areas if needed.

For more information on the Comox Valley chapter of the SARBC, or to contact Scharf about the stroke survivors and caregivers support group, email

Just Posted

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox looking at the future of transportation in the town

Council adopted the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update

On Monday, June 14, 40 Knots Winery presented the We Can Shelter Project with a cheque for $5,000. Pictured, from left - We Can Shelter Society secretary Sue Finneron, We Can Shelter treasurer Ann Scott, 40 Knots Winery co-owner Brenda Hetman-Craig, and Charlene Davis, president of the We Can Shelter Society. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Winery makes major contribution to housing initiative

40 Knots Winery commits to purchasing a unit for We Can Shelter Society

Brooklyn Elementary was able to get its expanded garden ready this spring. Photo by Comox Valley Schools
Comox Valley school garden in full bloom after setback

Along with COVID delays, Brooklyn Elementary project had lumber stolen in 2020

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Project will use ultrasonic data to collect information on species and habitat

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read