Founder of	‘Hope After Stroke’ group pleads for help after funding loss

Founder of ‘Hope After Stroke’ group pleads for help after funding loss

Donation shortage from Good Times Cruise-In will force stroke recovery group to cut its services

Marilyn Piticco, who runs weekly programs for stroke survivors in Langley, is making a desperate plea for help after donations she counts on from Langley Good Times Cruise-In fell $7,000 short.

“That is a massive loss for us. We are now in trouble. I was in tears when I found out. It’s by no fault of Cruise-In,” said Piticco.

“This year Cruise-In moved to Aldergrove, and I think it was our first really rainy Cruise-In ever. They really took a hit with money raised, so all the charities will be feeling it.”

Cruise-In is one of the largest car shows in the Pacific Northwest and the only one that is run solely by volunteers and incorporates a strong charity component.

Last year, Cruise-In was able to donate $46,000 to Langley charities.

“Our numbers were down considerably and that does affect our charities,” said longtime Cruise-In board member Ricardo Sestito.

“It’s really unfortunate and we feel bad for the charities. But we are confident we will have a numbers back up next year. We are already looking to a great Cruise-In next year.”

Langley Community Support Groups Society which runs Hope After Stroke has been on the receiving end of Cruise-In funding for nearly a decade. In that time, Cruise-In has raised more than $100,000 for the group. The money has helped Piticco fund an exercise specialist, occupational therapist, counsellor and communication expert. All of those services are at risk of being cut this year.

“I don’t want the group members to think the program will stop. We are not closing our doors. The program will still go on with our first day on the first Friday of January. It just means that we won’t be able to offer the same calibre of services as we have before. It also might mean we may combine the two programs, the young stroke survivors and the regular group.”

For the past 22 years, Piticco has offered a twice weekly program for stroke survivors based out of the Walnut Grove Community Centre.

She currently serves around 35 members who attend weekly. Many stroke survivors say the group is a lifeline.

Stroke survivors vary in age, some joining the group in their late 20s or 30s. Some are moms of young children, said Piticco. The group is really positive, and members have lots of fun with dance parties and themed lunches, sports in the centre’s gym and other activities, like visits from their favourite therapy dog.

One member and his wife found the group so beneficial in their lives that they threw together a fundraiser at Redwoods two years ago, which sold out and raised more than $15,000.

Steve Taylor suffered his first stroke in 2013.

“I like the people because they are on the same journey,” he told the Times in 2015.

SEE STORY HERE

Another group affected by this loss of funding are the kinesiology students who come through the program.

“They volunteer with us as part of their learning program and so many of them have gone on to become amazing OTs,” Piticco said.

“They all stay in touch, some come back. One wrote me a letter and said, ‘I am who I am because of volunteering with the stroke survivors.’”

Pittico quit her job as a realtor and started the program 22 years ago, doing everything herself.

“This is and always will be my passion,” she said.

Her late husband Randy was her first volunteer, she said.

He passed away two years ago.

“It’s been a tough year for me personally, so I haven’t been able to take to the streets and hustle for funding and find new sponsors. It’s been the perfect storm,” she said.

But Piticco said she has ‘hope’ that someone will read about her program, or have a family member touched by stroke and want to donate.

“I believe in people. Every amount helps,” she said.

If you haven’t made your 2017 charitable donation or if you would like to be a new sponsor or just donate to the stroke recovery charity, contact Marilyn at 604-882-4672 or get in touch through the Facebook page Langley Community Support Groups Society.

PICTURES BELOW:

Members of the stroke survivors group playing one of their favourite games, ‘Headband.’

The popular therapy dog visits the young stroke survivor group.



monique@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Founder of	‘Hope After Stroke’ group pleads for help after funding loss

Founder of	‘Hope After Stroke’ group pleads for help after funding loss

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Folks look through some of the items for sale during the Voice of Hope giant garage sale at 7350 Barrow Rd. in Chilliwack on Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Giant garage sale today in Chilliwack supports Kenyan widows, orphans

Funds go to Chilliwack-based Voice of Hope charity to improve quality of life for impoverished Kenyans

Ben Holwerda of the Chilliwack Spartan Swim Club competes in a swim meet at the Landing Leisure Centre on Feb. 12, 2011. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre to close temporarily for scheduled maintenance

Pools, steam room, and sauna at Landing Leisure Centre closing for maintenance July 19 to Sep. 4

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

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 aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read