NEWS ARCHIVES: 2009
29 DECEMBER 2009
WHAT A GREAT CHRISTMAS WE SHARED!
We were all together on Christmas day and it was absolutely wonderful! I hope you all are enjoying your winter break as much as we are. Enjoy these pictures and I will "see" you in 2010!
20 DECEMBER 2009
With only a few days left until Christmas, we are focusing on family and faith, and remembering all that we have to be thankful for this year. This year was full of ups and downs, and we look forward to 2010, which we hope will be filled with new beginnings.
My parents have written a letter to you all that you can read below. As you may imagine, there is so much that we want to convey to all of Steven’s supporters, but there are simply no adequate words to express our gratitude. Please take these little notes as our sincere Thank You, and know that they are written from our hearts.
O, CHRISTMAS TREE
Steven and Tanya put up a Christmas tree and are planning to join us at my Mom and Dad’s house on Christmas Day. We can’t wait. See the picture below of Steven standing by the tree! I will do my best to post some pictures between Christmas and New Year’s of our family sharing the special day together.
JOIN US IN 2010
Again, thank you all for your support along this road with us. I hope that you will join us in 2010 for the 2nd Annual Strokes Fore Stroke Golf Outing and the 2nd Annual Strides For Stroke Turkey Trot! Enjoy your winter festivities and I wish you all health, peace and happiness!
JANUARY PERFORMANCE EVENT
I want to remind you all of a very fun evening coming up on January 23rd. Please join us for a night of dancing and raffles, all in support of Steven and the Foundation. The event is hosted by Step-By-Step Dance Studio of Waltham, and will take place at the Post 440 in Newton. The dancers have been busy raising money already! They recently built a monkey hut and sold paper bananas for $1.00 each at the Waltham Common Christmas Tree Lighting on December 4th! Amazingly, these young dancers sold over $200.00 in less than two hours! Please email me for further information, STHStrokeFoundation@gmail.com, or you may call the dance studio: 781-891-5678. (Check out the picture below!)
A LETTER FROM STEVEN'S PARENTS
Dear family and friends,
I wish we could send a personal letter to each one of you this holiday season, but this will have to do for now. We feel so blessed this year to have Steven with us. This is the most wonderful Christmas present ever. We thank you all for your support during the past year. We have a lot of fun events planned for 2010 and we hope you will join us for some of them.
We hope you will take a moment to hug everyone in your family and tell them you love them, as life can change in a heartbeat. We wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Our sincerest thanks and love,
Marilyn and Steve
(Mom and Dad)
7 DECEMBER 2009
"LOOK! I CAN MOVE MY THUMB!"
Great news! Steven excitedly showed Tanya over the weekend that he could move his right thumb! This means a new neuronal pathway has formed, allowing the signal from his brain to reach his thumb. This is very encouraging for all of us, but especially for Steven, who hopefully knows that this is directly related to all the hard work he has been putting in at therapy. Way to go, Steven! Keep up good work!
Steven’s insurance will no longer cover at-home therapies. He will now travel to Spaulding’s Framingham site three times a week, where he will receive his physical, occupational and speech therapy. So far, so good! My Mom still cares for Steven on Mondays and Tuesdays, the 12-hour nurse, Lisa, is there on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Tanya still works from home on Fridays.
KARAOKE AND DARTS TOURNAMENT A SUCCESS!
Thanks to Kate Higgins, Tom Moore, ‘The Times’ Restaurant and Bar, and Steven’s friends and GMO family, the event on Thursday was a huge success! Just as importantly, it was a ton of fun!
Steven made his first appearance out at a social event by joining us at ‘The Times’. This is Steven’s favorite after-work hangout. Of course, everyone was so thrilled to see him. There was so much love and support filling the room. Smiles were all around, and the biggest could be found on Steven’s face. Another milestone in Steven’s journey has been marked. What a night to remember!
You will enjoy some of the photographs below, taken by my Dad. What a great group of people Steven has in his life! Steven’s stroke, although obviously devastating, has had a silver lining: Steven has woven new friendships and everlasting relationships between people in ways that often surmount understanding and defy description. I find myself feeling a part of Steven’s life in ways I never could have imagined; the outpouring of love and the goodness in people warms me; and I am witness to powerful new connections being made. For every new connection that Steven’s brain makes on this journey, a new connection is being made among all of us, which can be attributed to Steven’s silver lining. A lining, which, I am sure, has many, many layers.
AUSTRALIAN MONKEYS...IN THE UNITED STATES!
As you all have hopefully seen on this website, in the newsletter, and in several posts of mine over the past few months, Steven has a couple very good (and extremely generous) friends in Australia. Craig and Kate Goldsmith work at GMO’s Australian office, and have known Steven for quite some time now.
Craig is the mastermind behind our “Art in Australia” fundraiser. A superbly talented photographer, Craig has donated all profits of his website sales to the Foundation since August. The fundraiser continues through December, so be sure to visit his site and make a purchase! You won’t be disappointed! Click here to link to Craig’s website.
Craig and Kate arrived in the States just a few days ago, and one of their first stops was at Steven and Tanya’s house on Sunday. They had a great visit, and my favorite part is that their support is all encompassing – they even wore their monkey tees at the visit!
30 NOVEMBER 2009
THANK YOU, TROTTERS!!
The 1st Annual Strides For Stroke Turkey Trot was a huge success!
Thank you so much to everyone who came out Thanksgiving morning. When I decided to do this event 10 weeks or so ago, I expected maybe 5-10 people to join us. I told my Mom I didn’t care how few people showed up, I would still hold the event. Even she thought I was crazy, (“An event, Thanksgiving MORNING?! People need to cook their turkeys, Kel!”) But I believed in the spirit of the holiday, and with Dan’s support of all my crazy ideas, I knew we could make this a memorable morning.
I never expected 70 (SEVENTY!) of you to join us! Wow! I am still in awe, and it puts a smile on my face to know you all believed with me. I hope you enjoyed yourselves and that you will join us again next year. I promise more ridiculous turkey-ness. Anything for Steven!
TURKEY KING AND TURKEY QUEEN, 2009
We ceremoniously crowned the first place male and female runners by bringing them up on the deck, putting turkey drumstick hats on their heads and awarding them with glittery sashes. Congratulations to Craig Kelley who achieved this honor with a 5K running time of 21 minutes and 11 seconds, and congratulations to Daniela Gallinelli who achieved this honor with a 5K running time of 25 minutes and 7 seconds. We hope you will come back next year and defend your royal turkey titles!
I need to quickly thank my amazing volunteers. A few of them have been to EVERY event, and I couldn’t do it without them. They show up early, stay late, and work hard, all with a smile on their faces. You know who you are – Thank You!
Steven and Tanya joined us in the afternoon for a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was Steven’s first venture outside the house for something other than a doctor’s appointment! We shared with him the details of the morning, and he really got a kick out of looking through some of the pictures that my Dad had taken (a couple are shown below). The day was just perfect start to finish!
A LETTER FROM MOM
Dear family and friends,
What a wonderful turnout for the first Turkey Trot! We can't thank you enough for all your support. We had a wonderful time and hope you did too. Kelly and Dan really did a great job on this one. And Dan is such a good sport to be our turkey. What a guy! We hope you will all join us again next year and bring all your friends. The more the merrier.
Our Thanksgiving Day was so special for us this year. Having Steven at our house was such a blessing. We have so much to be thankful for this year, and having family and friends like all of you is included in those blessings. So, thank you so much. We hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day with your families.
Our sincerest thanks and love,
Marilyn and Steve
(Mom and Dad)
EVENT ON THURSDAY!
We hope to see you at the darts and karaoke event this Thursday night after work. It is at “The Times” in the Financial District. It begins at 5:00 p.m. Stop by for a drink with us!
25 NOVEMBER 2009
We are gearing up for our 1st Annual Strides For Stroke Turkey Trot tomorrow morning! It looks like we will have approximately 50 participants! I am thrilled with the anticipated turnout and Dan and I have a few things in store that will make this event one to remember!
If you would like to join us, we welcome you to show up and register tomorrow morning. The event starts promptly at 8:30 a.m., so be sure and come early to sign-in and enjoy some coffee! The start and finish is at 11 Sherman Street in Lexington, which is immediately adjacent to the downtown area.
Steven and Tanya will be joining us at my parents’ house after the event for a small family dinner. Needless to say, we are all so excited to spend the day together and share how much we have to be thankful for this year!
I want you all to know how thankful I am for all of you. Your continued support is amazing. I am truly honored to be spending the morning with many of you tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!
EVENT NEXT WEEK!
Don’t forget that in just one short week there is another great event you can attend! ‘The Times’ is Steven’s favorite bar in Boston. He is well known there. One of his colleagues has generously coordinated a darts tournament and karaoke extravaganza for December 3rd! Please join us after work for a fun evening! See further details on our ‘Events’ page. (Thanks, Kate!)
19 NOVEMBER 2009
Steven is back in the swing of things! His therapists are thrilled to be back and think Steven looks great and is doing wonderfully. His speech has improved slightly. He is saying short phrases and asking for things without being prompted. Each day he gains more strength and becomes more willing to try "new" things such as standing on his own and doing things without assistance. Throughout his daily progress, he remains the monkey he has always been...after Tanya and my Dad spent half an hour in the garage searching for the starter power cord to the snow blower, Steven walked in and found it right away. He was quite proud!
13 NOVEMBER 2009
Steven was discharged today at 1:30 p.m. He was so excited! My Mom said when she walked into his room this morning he was holding his medicines from the doctor and had a big smile on his face. When she asked him where he was going, he said, “HOME!” and pointed to the door. Congratulations, Steven, on another milestone successfully passed!
11 NOVEMBER 2009
Steven is still at BWH, but they have moved him from the ICU to the general neurology floor. He is doing very well. His communication is already making improvements and they have been doing OT and PT with him. For a few days post-surgery, he had an abnormally high heart rate. They sent him for a pulmonary CT scan and all came back normal. Over the weekend, his heart rate regulated again, leaving us and the doctors relieved, yet still perplexed as to what the rapid, continuous heart rate was all about.
The surgeon authorized him to go back onto Coumadin (the blood thinning medication) while at the same time receiving a heparin drip. They did find a blood clot in his right arm, but so far his brain scan looks great. He will remain in the hospital until his INR (his blood thinness) is at a safe level due to Coumadin. At that time they can take him off the heparin drip and he will remain on the Coumadin, which can be managed at home. There is no way to know how long it will take for his blood to reach the therapeutic level (of 2.0), but we hope he will be able to come home by this weekend!
As you might guess, he is antsy to go home! My mom has been staying with him most mornings, and Tanya has been able to work half days so that she can spend the afternoons and evenings with him.
All of the newsletters should be in the mail by Friday, 11-13-09. If you do not receive one by Monday of next week, and you signed up to be on the mailing list, please do not hesitate to email me: STHstrokefoundation@gmail.com. With so many of you signing up in such a short amount of time, added to the hectic events schedule we have been on, it's quite likely I missed one or two of you accidentally. I apologize if this happened, and want to remedy it immediately! I am so appreciative that you all care enough to sign up for the mailing list!
04 NOVEMBER 2009
SURGERY WAS SUCCESSFUL!
Steven is doing well at BWH. He has been feeling nauseous, so they are giving him some anti-nausea medicine. His pain level is moderate, and is being well managed. His face began to swell last night and he developed a bit of a fever, however the surgeon is not worried about either of these things and tells us they are normal reactions to having his skull piece reattached. Since he is off the very important blood-thinning drug, Coumadin, they are bridging him with Lovenox injections until they can safely put him back on a Coumadin schedule.
Steven is taking his post-op recovery in stride. He is such a trooper! Most frustrating to him at this point is his difficulty communicating. He had made such progress in this area prior to the surgery, and now his brain is having a hard time making connections again. For example his ‘yes’s’ and ‘no’s’ are mixed up. The surgeon assures us that these connections will all come back, and that these side effects are normal and temporary.
The earliest date for Steven’s release would be Sunday, but they are taking it one day at a time. Tanya’s employer, Gordon Brothers, was generous enough to put Tanya up in a hotel last night so that she could be close to Steven and not have to travel the hour+ on the commuter rail to and from Boston. After spending the night in the hospital with Steven post-surgery on Wednesday, she hopefully got some much-needed rest and relaxation last night! Tanya also reports that the BWH ICU staff is excellent! They have taken an immediate interest in the Foundation, and have already signed up for our mailing list!
ANNOUNCING...A WINTER PERFORMANCE EVENT!
Get out your dancing shoes!
As a former teacher at Step-By-Step Dance Studio, I have had the privilege of choreographing for this annual event for five years. Each year, owner and director Pamela Caira generously chooses a different charity for whom to raise money. This year, we are thrilled and honored that she chose the Foundation! Mark this date on your calendars and call for your tickets today!
Pictured are photos from previous winter performance events hosted by Step-By-Step Dance Studio.
04 NOVEMBER 2009
STEVEN'S SURGERY WENT WELL TODAY!
They started the procedure at 10:45, and were finishing up around 2:00 p.m. Tanya and my parents got to see him in the ICU at 3:30 p.m. and said he looked good, but was groggy. I haven't gotten the full details yet, but when I do I will be sure to post them - likely tomorrow at some point.
Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers and genuine caring spirit. We are absolutely thrilled that Steven has climbed this next branch on his way to recovery and are nothing but optimistic for his future!
31 OCTOBER 2009
The following update is from my Mom, who is now with Steven 12 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays…
Steven is improving everyday. He has an alarm that goes off when it is time to take his meds, but he anticipates it, and heads for the kitchen before it even goes off! He is taking his own meds now, and can tell me what they are.
When I am there, I insist we go outside at least once. Steven takes quite a walk, and we stop and pick up the mail on the way in. He has homework and we do several pages a day, along with word games. On some of his workbook pages, he needs to think of simple words, but Steven always comes up with more difficult words. Right now, Steven and I have been working on a really hard jigsaw puzzle. I am the one who complains about how hard it is, and Steven just works on it, like it is nothing. And the brainteaser puzzles he has are really hard! He gets them every time, and there is one called ‘Dot on Dot,’ that I can't even do. Steven does mine after he finishes his!
Working with Steven every Monday and Tuesday has been wonderful. I really look forward to it. Watching Steven improve everyday, step-by-step, day-by-day, is so rewarding. Steven is really invested in his improving too. There is no one that tries harder!
UP AND COMING
Steven’s surgery is in FIVE days!
HUGE thanks to Craig Goldsmith, who has graciously coordinated the ‘Art in Australia’ fundraiser since August. Craig has decided to extend the fundraiser through the end of the year! Thank you so much, Craig! He tells me there will be beautiful calendars available on the site soon, so keep checking! Get ahead on holiday shopping, visit the site, buy some art, and support Steven!
I continue to get registrations in for the ‘Strides For Stroke’ Turkey Trot, which makes me smile. I am really looking forward to this event. I think it is going to be great fun on a day meant for family, friends and smiles. Thank you trotters!
Next week I will announce a new fundraising event occurring in January that I am thrilled about. Get out your dancing shoes and stay tuned for the details!
If you are on our mailing list you will be receiving our first newsletter within the next week or so! I am very excited about this and am so happy to have such a substantial mailing list in such a short amount of time. Thank you all so much for helping this Foundation GROW… for Steven!
Today is Steven and Tanya’s 4 -year wedding anniversary! This year God asked them to come face-to-face with their vows. “For better or worse” is an easy phrase to say; yet to truly live it is an entirely different task. Tanya has shown me that when she held Steven’s hands and looked into his eyes in the church four years ago, she understood the vows she was taking, and has stayed true to them. That means so much to me.
Steven and Tanya’s marriage has not wavered through all of this. In fact, it has grown stronger. Each day when they wake up next to each other and prepare to face the day, they are reaffirming their vows to one another. They are an inspiration to me and this morning I took a moment to really look at my family and realize how lucky I am, and realize that the vows we have taken are truly sacred, and there are days when we are called upon to live the phrases we spoke.
“In sickness and health, for richer or poorer…” I am thankful for each and every day that passes, and thankful that my brother found someone who will love him unconditionally, ‘til death do them part. Happy Anniversary, Steven and Tanya! Here is to many, many more.
THE MAGIC WORD IS..."PATIENCE"
I am disappointed to tell you all that Steven’s surgery has been delayed…yes, again! It is now rescheduled for November 4th due to some sort of clerical error. If there’s one thing we’ve learned through all of this, it’s patience! Steven is probably one of the best at actually accomplishing this!
This photo shows Manon and her daughter Megan. Manon was the International Liason at Aventura Hospital in Florida. She was assigned to Steven’s case since he was medflighted from Jamaica. Manon was able to coordinate housing for my parents and Tanya during Steven’s one-month stay down there, and she became a very close friend through her close care. She would come by Steven’s room every single day to say hello, had coffee with my Dad, and did lunch or breakfast with the three of them. She also cooked them a meal at her home that was very yummy! She is, as Tanya told me, “one in a million.” Thank you for your care, Manon!
TWELVE MORE DAYS!
The countdown is on! Only 12 more days until Steven’s surgery!
'M' IS FOR...
My phone rang last night and I was so happy to see “Steven Hill” come up on the caller ID! This was Steven’s first phone call to me, and you can almost carry on a real conversation with him now that his speech is improving. I was greeted with a very enthusiastic, “Hi!”
With Tanya’s help on speakerphone, we discussed how Halloween was approaching, and that Danny would be a monkey and Jessie would be a princess this year (no surprises there). Steven said that he was a bit sad that Lynda left, but seemed happy with the new 12-hour aide, Lisa, who had her first day yesterday. He showed me a new game that he plays with Tanya. I chose a letter (“M”) and Steven thought of a word that started with it and said it (“monkey”). I assured him that not only was his pronunciation improving, but that he also chose a great word. I noticed that Steven’s speech is markedly better. He can think of the words faster and they come out of his mouth faster too. He agreed with me that this has helped immensely with the frustration he often feels when unable to communicate his wants and needs.
We would like to formally welcome Lisa to Steven’s team. Lisa will be with Steven 12-hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can see a photo of the two of them below.
Here is a photo of Danny, now 7 months, in his new monkey
PJ’s. My little monkey is now 25 pounds and literally off the
charts! These are the same PJ’s worn by cousins Addy and
Madison in a previous update. (If you're interested, they are
Carter's brand, and my Mom found them for Danny at Kohl's.)
Steven was excited when Tanya’s Dad came to visit. He seemed to show-off by becoming an “explosion of words” as Tanya described. The therapists all report that Steven is progressing wonderfully, although there are daily frustrations and reminders of how long and bumpy this road can be.
His surgery date to replace his skull flap is fast approaching. October 28th is only 3 short weeks away and Steven is surely counting the days. We are excited for this as Steven will regain some of his independence since the doctors will likely clear him to walk around the house by himself. Steven’s right arm, the one that has shown little to no movement, is also coming along and he shows trace movement in his thumb and pointer finger.
Overall, Steven remains in great spirits and continues to work so hard. Next week, Tanya’s Mom leaves after a long stay. She absolutely contributed to Steven’s progress. As a nurse, she was able to seamlessly integrate her medical knowledge, while at the same time using her mothering skills. She made Steven WORK! And he now has huge gains to show for it. Thank you so much, Lynda. You will be missed!
On Wednesday, the new aide comes. Her name is Lisa and Tanya feels she will be a great addition to Steven’s Team. Although nervous, we will all assure a smooth transition for Steven. Lisa will be with Steven 12 hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. My Mom will cover Mondays and Tuesdays, and Tanya will work from home on Fridays. We are again so thankful to all of you who have supported Steven; because of you we are able to hire the proper care that he needs. Thank you a million times over!
In this picture you see Steven taking his first sips of wine with father-in-law, Ron. Much deserved!
And the happy couple...all smiles!
Unfortunately Steven’s surgery to reattach his skull piece has been pushed back again. The new surgery date is October 28th. We hope this date will hold and are understandably disappointed with the delay. This journey is filled with emotional highs and lows, and everyone feels the impact that news such as this brings.
Trot, trot, to Lexington
This cool Fall weather actually inspires me to lace up a pair of sneakers and hit the pavement for an energetic walk or run. I remember back in 2004, I signed Dan and me up for a 5K run that our town was sponsoring for land conservation. You can imagine his shock, as neither of us had ever run a 5K before. We didn’t even train. We just showed up (with a couple good friends) and…went for it! WOW! It was tough…but FUN! And we were so proud of our accomplishments.
There are approximately 8 weeks until Thanksgiving, which means you have 8 weeks to dust off those sneakers and let the cool air inspire you to join us for our 1st Annual ‘Strides For Stroke’ Turkey Trot. Perhaps for you that means setting a goal to actually run in it – here is your 8-week training warning! Maybe you have never run a 5K and it has always been a goal of yours, or maybe you are a seasoned veteran. Or perhaps, like me, walking the 3K is more your style.
This 1st Annual event is being billed as “No Frills, Just Fun, For Steven.” What does that mean?! Well, it means that this isn’t your average 5K… the course isn’t “certified” by professionals, and it isn’t “sanctioned” either. There won’t be a big fancy tent in my parents’ backyard and you won’t wear hi-tech timers on your sneakers. In fact, I can’t even guarantee there will be a water stop.
What I can guarantee is that you will have fun. People who value the spirit of Thanksgiving, support Steven, and want to burn a few calories before they enjoy the Turkey Day festivities will surround you. There will be coffee and smiles, and we will all celebrate autumn as we jaunt around Lexington.
There will be a 5K running loop and a 3K walking loop. Both loops will take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. We have an 8:30 a.m. start time, which means you will be done in plenty of time to catch the Football games, get your turkey started, and go about your day with your family. Add to that a very reasonable entrance fee, and this event is a no-brainer! JOIN US!
Sign up on our EVENTS page!
Monkeys, monkeys, everywhere!
Check out these two monkeys. These are Tom Moore’s beautiful girls, Kaitlyn and Taylor, up at Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. You may remember Tom as our DJ and host at our events over the summer. Looking good girls!
"I like it!"
Thank you to everyone for your kind words regarding this new website! I hope you continue to visit and stay up-to-date with Steven’s progress and the latest Foundation happenings. When Tanya’s Mom, Lynda, showed Steven the site on Friday, he said, “I like it!” That made me cry!
Steven is continuing his slow but steady climb towards recovery. He spends his days seeing the various therapists (speech, physical and occupational) and doing brain exercises such as puzzles and workbooks. Tanya continues to work long days and has been dealing extremely well with the stress of managing her work life and family life, while coordinating Steven’s medical care.
Steven’s surgery date to have his skull piece reattached has been pushed back. It is currently scheduled for October 7th. It has proven difficult to coordinate the various doctors involved on Steven’s complicated case. It was disappointing to hear the set back, but of course, we would rather err on the safe side!
Here are a few of the latest pictures!
Steven loves doing his new puzzles!
Little monkeys! Steven’s little cousins, Addy (right) and Madison. Super cute!
Welcome to our new site!
I’m happy to see that you found your way to the Foundation’s new e-home! Thanks to all of Steven’s supporters helping me spread the word about Steven’s Story and the Steven T. Hill Stroke Foundation, we quickly outgrew the capacities of the blog. A website was much needed and I hope you find this newest growth milestone as exciting as I do!
Many thanks go to the four generous and talented individuals who donated their time and expertise to creating this great site: Lori LoTurco, Matt Dyson, Kerri Augenstein, and Luke Ehler. Lori and I grew up dancing together and have remained the best of friends. She has formally joined the Foundation’s Board as Media Director and is responsible for our relationship with Channel 5 in addition to being the mastermind behind this whole website! Matt, Kerri, and Luke all work with Lori in the South End and did not even know me or Steven prior to June. I am so deeply touched by their generosity and am forever thankful!
I invite you to “monkey around” the site and explore all the information, both old and new. Pass the address around to your friends and remember to check back here often. The “news” tab will function as the new blog, and I will continue to update it at least weekly. Thank you for your continued support and for joining us as we watch Steven continue his journey to the top of the tree!
Golf outing a success!
A few of the fabulous raffle girls at the golf outing
Here's some more of our golf supporters on the course!
And what a great picture of Lynda, Steven and Tanya!
Steven has a surgery date!
We are thrilled to announce Steven's surgery date: on September 30th Steven will have his skull flap removed from his abdomen and reattached onto his head! Tanya's Mom, Lynda, has agreed to stay an extra week in order to manage Steven's after-care.
Mid-October, Lynda will return to Ogdensburg, NY and my Mom, Marilyn, will stay with Steven Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Wednesdays and Thursdays we will find a 12-hour aid to be with him. Tanya will work from home on Fridays.
Things are falling into place and Steven is continuing to make progress in all areas of his therapies. One of his new favorite things is doing puzzles! Please take a moment to send him a card, as he loves to get mail and hasn't received much in awhile.
133 Blackstone Street
Bellingham, MA 02019
Tanya also encourages scheduled visitors on the weekends. Please email her to set something up: tanyahill1022@Gmail.com. Steven would LOVE to see some of his supporters!
The 1st Annual Golf Outing was a huge success!
Approximately 80 golfers joined us at Stow Acres yesterday for a fun day of golf, all in support of Steven. (More pictures to come shortly.) A huge thank you to everyone who came and helped make this event one to remember. About 95% of the golfers were my husband's contacts through work and I am overwhelmed with how generous they all were despite not even knowing me or Steven. Dan, you did an amazing job making this event a success! I am proud of you and feel lucky to have you as my husband.
Special thanks go to the fabulous raffle girls - I don't know what I would have done without them and they were a HUGE hit. They jumped right in stuffing welcome bags for the carts and selling raffles and contests. They now know what a mulligan is, how to drive a golf cart (sort of) and how to cut and light a cigar. Another special thank you goes to Ed LoTurco who has been tirelessly working with us since June and was by our side again yesterday. Ed hasn't missed a Foundation meeting and is always ready and willing to do whatever we need. I am forever grateful.
The Stow Acres staff was excellent, and commented on how organized and fun we were, and how we were able to add a few new twists to the average golf outing. They also loved our "uniforms"!
I truly hope more of you will join us next year. I had more fun than I anticipated and look forward to the 2nd Annual event!
As Steven says something new or reaches a new milestone, we all fill with excitement and celebrate the amazing progress he is making. However, we can't expect Steven to always have a smile on his face while working so hard day-in and day-out on climbing up his tree. There are moments of sadness, anger and frustration, and these times are so difficult that it's often easy to get stuck on them.
Steven had a rough afternoon on Saturday, and we were all in tears after hearing from Tanya what the day had been like. Steven seemed frustrated and down on himself, and was having a hard time communicating what he wanted or was feeling. Tanya was strong, and made sure Steven did not see her crying, and helped him focus on the positive by reassuring him that he is getting better! Depression goes hand-in-hand with this type of stroke, so we are trying to do anything we can to keep Steven's spirits up and stay positive!
What an amazing experience to be on WBZ 1030 AM with master of talk radio, Jordan Rich. Thank you so much to WBZ and especially to Jordan for allowing us to share Steven's Story with the WBZ listeners and help continue to educate the community about stroke. Thank you also to Dr. Matthew Tilem from Lahey's Stroke Program (which received a "Gold" achievement award from the American Stroke Association) for adding his medical expertise to the hour-long interview (you can read a stroke story and see a picture of Dr. Tilem here: http://www.lahey.org/pdf/Medical/HeartVascular/MeetingtheChallenge.pdf).
The evening began when I picked up Tom Moore, Steven's former co-worker at Wellington and longtime friend and the person responsible for coordinating the interview, from his Derry, NH home. We spent the long drive into WBZ, both nervous, discussing our interview strategies.
After surviving the scare of hundreds of bats flying out of the trees that lined the WBZ building directly above us as we walked in, Jordan quickly put us at ease with his smile, warmth and welcoming demeanor. Unexpectedly, Jordan gave us a tour of the WBZ studios. Imagine my surprise when I saw Barry Burbank, WBZ meteorologist, working inside his state-of-the-art weather center. Yes, he really has a Weather Center!
The interview began at 10:00 p.m. and Tanya called in from her home in Bellingham. Tanya did a wonderful job and told Steven's Story so poignantly. I was shocked when we went to the first commercial break to see that it was already 10:20! The time absolutely flew by.
Jordan went out of his way to continually include us all in the discussion and mention this website over and over again. I truly appreciate his dedication to spreading the word about Steven and educating the community about stroke.
He is kindly emailing me a commercial-free copy of the show, which I will promptly post here for those of you who may have missed it. To end an already fabulous evening, Jordan shared that he will personally be making a donation to the Foundation. I feel blessed to have met such a wonderful person, and to have been given this opportunity for Steven. THANK YOU, JORDAN RICH!
"Everything sale", Next saturday, 9/12 (Rain date: Sunday, 9/13)
Please mark your calendars for next Saturday, September 12th (rain date is Sunday, September 13th)! From 9-1 there will be a HUGE multi-family yard sale in my Mom's neighborhood! Head over to Sherman Street in Lexington for some great deals. Lots of kid stuff, housewares and clothing!
Jessie (shown above) will be holding a bake sale also. Inspired by another Amesbury 4-year-old, Riley (you may remember me posting about her generosity earlier in the summer), Jessie is excited to make signs and spend all day Friday baking yummy things "to help Uncle Steven." Jessie fully understands that all funds raised will be given to The Steven T. Hill Stroke Foundation, and is proud to be helping her Uncle.
Also being sold: monkey tees and hats! And new to our collection: items for Fall, including long-sleeve tees!
Wanted: Speech therapist
Hello Steven Supporters!
Steven visits the surgeon at BWH tomorrow and hopefully gets a date for the reattachment of his skull piece! We are all eagerly anticipating the news!
Soon after the surgery, Steven's insurance will no longer cover home care therapies. Steven will do a long commute to and from Spaulding-Framingham for his physical, occupational and speech therapies. These sessions are approximately one-hour each, and due to the distance of Framingham from Bellingham, all three therapies would be scheduled back-to-back.
HOWEVER, this is simply too much for Steven at this point. Each therapy requires physical strength and/or mental concentration, and 3+ hours in a row is too exhausting to be beneficial for him.
We are in the process of archiving older posts and bringing over much of the content from the earliest days of Steven's stroke, where I posted on a Blog site. In the meantime, you can visit the Blog site, and read the earlier posts: www.STHStrokeFoundation.blogspot.com.