Survivors Helping Survivors Connect with people who know what you are going through.
Hi! My name is Joanie Peckels. I had a carotid dissection 22 years ago when I was 35. When I had my stroke I was totally paralyzed on my right side and I could not speak at all for 2 weeks. During that time I could not read or add 1 and 1 together. I had two little kids aged 6 and 8. I was right handed but now I’m left handed for the second half of my life! I have come a long way and now, I volunteer at PeaceHeath SW hospital as a Stroke Ambassador and I am a grandma! I have helped run the PeaceHealth Stroke and Brain Injury Group with the Stroke Coordinators there for about 14 years.

My contact info is 360-907-4457 or

Keep on scrolling for Zoom info!

Hi Stroke & Brain Injury Group!




It kind of sneaked up on me!  I am leaving town Friday and won't return return until May 1st!  We're burning our last covid tickets and decided to got to the East Coast where my husband's work headquarters are.  I've never been there and he wants to show me places like Myrtle Beach and Savana. 


SO THERE WILL BE NO ZOOM UNTIL I GET BACK!  Next Zoom will be May 4th!


In the meantime, I wanted to let you know what we will be doing for Take Your Brain Out to Play!


  1. Planting - Joanie
  2. Drawing - Louise
  3. Painting - Marc --Small canvases, rocks & color books
  4. Mindfulness?
  5. Jewelry making - Peggy

Everyone will bring a food item to share!


Starts at 10:00 at Mary Frio's house!

16315 NE 170th Ave, Brush Prairie



NW Brain has another program in the works!  It's called "Brain Exchange" if you are interested!  Here are some details:


Brain Exchange, EXCLUSIVELY for stroke and other TBI survivors, does several things: 


1. You're matched to someone in a 1:1 writing partnership through ongoing emails. 

2. We’ll meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesday on Zoom of every month to experience meaningful games, mind exercises, and share stories. 

3. A Facebook page has been started called (no surprise here) “Brain Exchange” to socialize, hear stories from stroke and other TBI survivors, and be aware of new strategies that may be helpful. 


All we want you to do is send an email to or and answer these 3 questions: 


When did you have a brain injury and a very brief description?

What is your current age?

Would you prefer a male, female, or no preference?


Thank you for your interest in Brain Exchange! 


Joyce and Sara




Dates for our Annual TAKE YOUR BRAIN OUT TO PLAY and PICNIC have been set!  At Mary Frio's house!  So mark your calendars!




PICNIC--SATURDAY, JULY 30th at 12:00!


I also signed us up for The Heart & Stroke Walk Saturday May 21st! It starts at 9:00 at Esther Short Park! Route Length: 1 & 3-Mile Route Options. It is an actual walk in Vancouver this year! Everyone participating should meet at the clock tower at 8:30 for a group picture!


Our team is The Hard Hats! (Restructuring our lives after a stroke!). My team link is:


Please go to my Team Leader link and sign up as a waker for the Hard Hats! I'll ride my recumbent trike.  Bring anything you want like wheelchairs, scooters and track chairs!  You don't have to walk the whole route.  We can just start out as a group! Does anyone have a lead on someone that does T-shirts?  A lot of us have our old purple The Hard Hats T-shirts but we have a lot of new people!


Some of you are interested in Anne's The Backstrokes!  They play music and have a lot of fun.  If you want to join go to the Northwest Brain Network website.  Or let me know and I will give her your email so she can put you on her list. She sends a link out Monday mornings and they start at 11:00.



I told you about stroke survivor who is going to bike across America!  Well, her friend Linda was on a Zoom call with Anne, Louise and me.  They are having quite a big launch party for her in Portland at Revolution Hall from 5:00-7:00, on Wednesday, May 18. I figured not many of our group would be going at that time and over the bridge, but I wanted you to know about it. She is starting out at our Heart & Stroke Walk in Vancouver May 21st!  Hopefully we will get to meet her!  This her information:
As promised here is information about the organization is at  It might be a nice resource to add to your list.  Also the ocean-to-ocean ride called Stroke Across America and the link for it is (
Debra Meyerson's book is Identity Theft, (  It might be a great resource for your group or your resource list.



Exciting news!! We have a place to meet in person!!  Emily Kaemmerlen, of Boomerang Therapy Works, has graciously invited us to share their space, starting in February, on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 1:30! The next one will be Thursday, April 21 at 1:30!


We picked that time because I know a lot of you don't like to drive at night.  When spring and summer comes around maybe we can start doing an evening one?  But, lets start with this!


Because it is a heath care facility, we are still required to wear a mask, vaccinated or not.  I'm excited!!


We will still do Zoom on Wednesdays at 11:00.  But, not on the week that we do the in person meeting.


The address is:


4201 NE 66th Ave, Suite 104, Vancouver, WA 98661


It is located just off of Andresen, just North of Hwy 500.  Close to the Ford dealership.  There is  stop light on Andresen which is 42nd St. Turn west there and Boomerang is in the 2nd strip mall, on the left just before the next cross street.








Norm Ward's Mantra

Great Websites or Services!


Peak Pro App~ Fun and challenging!  $37.93 per year from your app store.


CDM~Great for for socializing, doing Zoom every weekday at the moment.  They play games, sing, do art projects (supplies are delivered to you) and when it is in person they give each client a free Cvan bus pass. Website: 360-896-9695 Email:


Comcast Affordable High Speed Internet~ $9.95 a month!!  SSI/medicaid/Housing Assistance qualify. They also have low cost computers. 


OT Lifestyle Solutions~ A great Facebook page by Occupational Therapist Sue Doyle. She always posts great ideas and info on Stroke Rehabilitation, Home Safety & Accessibility Evaluations, Fall Prevention and of course Occupation Therapy.  She also has her own business.  360-723-5145.


Sitting Tai Chi & Gentle Exercises~ 360-953-0399.


The Aphasia Network~ Lots of programs!  Aphasia Camp at Camp Mc Gruger in Rockaway, OR is especially popular.  Contact Suzanne Gardner 

503-577-1282, or the website


Northwest Brain Network~ Lets you know about The Backstrokes and NUMEROUS other speakers and information.  Zoom Backstrokes is at 11:00 Mondays and speakers are at various times. 


SATBIL Magazine~ Lots of information and stories by stroke and brain injury people.


Loving Them Forward~ A fantastic local organization that has vetted businesses to help with just about anything you can think of! Christina Keys at or 


Brain Injury Connections-NW (BIC-NW)~A Portland organization that provides lots of local info. 


A FaceBook Group Called:  Stroke Caregiving “Wives” Only


A Caring Closet~ An excellent place to get used durable medical equipment for free!  And also to donate to it as well.  360-258-0039

1206-C NE 146th Street Vancouver, WA 98685. is their website. 


Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of SW Washington~ They offer a multitude of programs, most them need based but there are some that everyone can participate in. is an awesome site.  Information & Assistance 360-694-8144.  201 NE 73rd St, Ste 201, Vancouver.


C-Van~ For those who can’t drive.  There is a form for you and your doctor to fill out.  They will take you anywhere within their boundaries.  It doesn’t have to be medical but you do have contact them ahead of time.  The cost per ride is $1.80, for each direction. Not need based but you have to be a certain distance from a bus stop.  360-695-0123.


Brain Injury Alliance of Washington~




Post Concussion Syndrome~ A Facebook Group



2nd Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Register by emailing: LIFEAFTERSTROKE@providence.orgA Zoom Meeting


Bri Fairley, M.S. CCC-SLP, President, Founder Atlas Aphasia Center

Website: Phone: 206-256-1168 Email: ~ Offering Speech Therapy


Boomerang Therapy Works~ Excellent Physical Therapy!  NEW LOCATION! 4201 NE 66th Ave, Suite 104, Vancouver, WA 98661. Just North of the SR 500 & NE Andresen Rd interchange. 360-258-1637. http.//



Aphasia- Hope Is a Four Letter Word.  By Carl McIntyre, an actor and Stroke Survivor.  The movie itself is only 40 min but there are several interviews with his Speech Pathologist, Denise Caignon and renowned Speech Pathologist Dr. Nancy Helm-Estabrooks.  2012


A Not So Still Life- The Ginny Ruffner Story. A Brain Injury Survivor. 2010


Carl McIntyre and Hope Is A Four Letter Word

If you look under “Stroke and Brain Injury” on Amazon you will find a myriad of books on recovery.  These are the ones that I know of personally or have been recommended to me.  Several of them I purchased as audio back in the day, either cassette tape or CD.
Hope Heals.  By Katherine & Jay Wolf.  A great story of stroke survival.
My Stroke of Luck. By Kirk Douglas.  His own personal story.

Kate’s Journey.  By Kate Adamson.  OR

Kate Adamson Paralyzed but Not Powerless.  Kate’s Journey Revised.
Her story of surviving a brain stem stroke and locked-in syndrome.  I have seen her speak twice.  Once in Appleton, WI, and once with Holly in Salem, OR.  Very good.
Gabby: A Story of Courage & Hope.  By Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly.  She was a politician (still is I think!) who was shot in the head while at an event.  This was really good on audio.  It is read by Mark Kelly, her astronaut husband and Gabby herself.  Like a lot of brain injuries, she presents as if she had a stroke.
Change in the Weather:  Life After the Stroke.  By Mark McEwen a TV weather man who had his stroke on an airplane. Or
After the Stroke My Journey Back to Life.  By Mark McEwen & Daniel Paisner (I think they are the same book published different years but I could be mistaken!)

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.  By Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. 

One Handed in a Two Handed World.  By Tommye-K. Mayer.  A great book with all kinds of ideas to do frustrating things with one hand.
Stronger After Stroke, Third Edition: Your Roadmap to Recovery .  By Peter Lavine
Healing & Happiness After Stroke for Caregivers & Survivors: The Holistic Guide to Getting Your Life Back.  By Tsgoyna Tanzman

Post-Concussion Syndrome: An Evidence Based Approach.  By William D. Boyd 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing, and Hard Work

The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves After Stroke

Awoke By A Stroke: My Roadmap To Restoration

Elma said this book really helped her.
Survivors Helping Survivors Connect with people who know what you are going through.
NW Brain Network
Portland, Oregon
@Copyright 2020 Northwest Brain Network
Modify your subscription    |    View online