Brain Injury & Stroke Support Group Open House

Delivering Eggs of Hope to Heartland Rehab. Pictured left to right are: Kim and Jeff Harms, Gay Hartness, Marilyn R. Schott and Liz Schott

Have you ever met someone that has had a brain injury or stroke? Have you heard their story of survival? This is your chance to talk face to face with someone who has defied death. Some of the most extraordinary people in the Cape Girardeau area.

The Brain Injury & Stroke Support Group has been around the Cape Girardeau area for more than 30 years. Mrs. Susan Kolhe, with Dr. YingLing facilitated the group first for 6 years. The meetings were held at Saint Francis Hospital. After Mrs. Kolhe, Kathy Tanksley took over for 18 years. Tanksley is an Occupational Therapist at Healthpoint Fitness. While under Tanksley facilitation the group met at Southeast Hospital and then at Healthpoint. After her retirement from the group Dr. Thomas Lenairs, a professor in the Speach department at SEMO University took over the reins of the group until his promotion to Saint Louis, Missouri. Then Marilyn R. Schott became the facilitator of the group in 2014.

Although the group has been around Cape Girardeau for 30+ years, they are a hidden gem. The group works closely with both hospitals with the Neuro-therapy division. Upon the patient's departure from the hospital, they are given information about the group.

The Brain Injury & Stroke Support Group is a nonprofit organization. They hold raffles throughout the year to help out with expenditures. They also have an information booth out at the SEMO Dist. Fair in September where they do their outreach to the community. They also work closely with Texas Roadhouse with the Dine In-To Donate throughout the year. In fact, the next Dine In-To Donate date is March 26th. Just tell your wait staff you are there to support the Brain Injury group and they do the rest. 10% of the sales comes back to the group where they use the money for their annual picnic, bonfire and Christmas party.

Delivering Valentines to Saint Francis Medical Center Row 1 left to right: Sandra Riveria and Sharon Benton Row 2 left to right: Tim Morgan, Kristy Friedrich, Marilyn R. Schott, Liz Schott and Ryan Benton

More than five million people in the United States live with the aftereffects of brain injury or stroke. About 1.7 million people sustain new brain injuries each year. Most causes of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury are from motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence, gunshot wounds, military attacks, bomb blast and sports. An ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) is caused by strokes (leading cause), or

lack of oxygen.

What can you do to help? Come out to the Open House and find out ways you can help with the group. They are always looking for volunteers to help with projects they do throughout the year, such as Valentine delivery, Christmas card delivery and volunteering at the SEMO fair. If you have any questions, please contact the group at or call 573-275-7552.

Operation Brain Surgery. A game played by the children at the fair. For $1 donation the kids play the game and win a prize...prizes for all ages.