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Creative Award Finalists 2019

Proudly sponsored by Marmalade Melbourne 

This category aims to celebrate stroke survivors’ contribution to creative industries, including writing, photography, music and fine art. The award is open to stroke survivors in the community who are actively pursuing creative achievements. The only requirements to apply for this award are that you are a stroke survivor and you have a specific creative project to share.

2019 Creative Awards Finalists 

Lynette Gordon-Smith - QLD - Winner

Lynette Gordon Smith

The ‘Saxy Lady’ was told she may never play the saxophone again after a stroke in 2017. But with determination, a great deal of persistence and hope, Lynette is back doing what she loves best. Lynette has held concerts locally and produced a CD.

How has stroke changed your life and where are you now on your stroke journey?
The stroke has left me with significant loss of use of my right hand/arm and also some weakness in my right leg. I can walk with the assistance of a wheely walker around inside the house and use a wheelchair and an electric scooter out of the house.

What initiative have you introduced to help make life easier for stroke survivors?
I have a lot of penfriends and I have sent them all stroke information and fridge magnets etc.

What advice would you give a stroke survivor or someone that has recently suffered a stroke?
Never... never ever give up... and ensure those around them understand what Stoke is, and how important a part they have to play in my recovery and the recognition of symptoms in others, so as to facilitate earliest medical intervention.


Michael Young - VIC

Michael’s family was told he would be a “vegetable” and probably spend the rest of his life in a nursing home following his stroke in September in 2017. But with determination and a great support network, Michael is now back on the dramatic stage doing and doing what he loves. 

How has stroke changed your life and where are you now on your stroke journey?

I was unable to walk, my left arm would not move, I had a face droop and my speech was effected. I am walking better but very slowly with a pronounced limp. My left arm is useless at the moment. My goal is to get it to do something useful like being able to use a knife and fork would be good. Some big goals I set at the start, getting back on stage and playing golf, have both been achieved. 

What advice would you give a stroke survivor or someone that has recently suffered a stroke?
My advice to other stroke survivors is to be positive about everything and everyone in your life. It has worked for me and all my support people are still my friends.

Dane Peters - NSW 

Dane Peters

Dane was in high school when he was struck by stroke altering the course of his life. Recovery for Dane has been a journey, one that has now lead him to helping others through becoming an author.

How has stroke changed your life and where are you now on your stroke journey? 
After having my stroke my life changed forever. I could never complete my dream and join the Army now, my grades dropped alarmingly and friends disappeared. I could never play rugby league again. I thought my life was over. 30 years later, I have found a job that I love. I have good friends, family and have played cricket on Saturday in my district's cricket competition.  

What initiative have you introduced to help make life easier for stroke survivors? 
I have always wondered why a stroke would strike me down at the age of 13.  At a school reunion whilst talking with a former classmate, a lightbulb went off in my brain. Maybe I suffered this stroke to help others, and the way to help people was to write a book in regards to what you can achieve after having a stroke or any setback in life. Thus begun my journey in writing this book “Believe and Achieve, The Dane Peters Story”

What advice would you give to a stroke survivor or someone that has recently suffered a stroke? 
If you believe in yourself, you can achieve so much. 

Maria Lewis - NSW

Maria Lewis
 
Maria was a journalist at The Daily Telegraph before her stroke, often working 12 hour days as well as doing sport, hosting film events and trying to get a book published on the side. She is inspirational for other young people to see someone in their twenties out there chasing their dreams creatively, while also openly speaking about what they've had to overcome after having a TIA.

How has stroke changed your life and where are you now on your stroke journey?
Stroke changed everything about my life, especially given that I was in my early twenties and had no family history, no warning signs. It made me much more aware of my body and also things that I wanted to do in my life. For instance, publishing a book had always been a dream of mine and I was just quietly plodding along with journalism and slowly working towards that goal. After my TIA, I started working harder than ever to get that book published because for the first time I realised there truly aren’t any guarantees in life.  

What advice would you give a stroke survivor or someone that has recently suffered a stroke?
You’re allowed to be angry and you’re allowed to feel that it’s unfair. Because it is: having a stroke, mini or macro, freakin’ sucks. But there’s no reason it has to be the thing that defines you, especially if you’re young. It may feel like you’re alone or that you’re the only young person to have a stroke: sadly, you’re not. It happens every day to thousands of people, many of them under 65, and although the journey to recovery isn’t necessarily easy it is possible. There are more effective treatments now than there were a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago - let alone all of the new breakthroughs that are happening every day. Stroke is a thing that happened to you, but it’s not the crux of who you are as a person.