June 26, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Stroke Survivor Support Group

By Kelly Hartog

In 2009, Dana Rivera was a healthy, happy woman in her 40s who exercised six days a week and was raising four teenagers. And then she suffered a stroke that completely changed her life.

Rivera’s stroke was the result of a birth defect – a hole in her heart – that she knew nothing about until devastation struck. Through hard work and dedication, over the course of a year, she made a complete recovery. Today she facilitates not one, but four stroke recovery groups in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Santa Monica.

Her path began about a year after her recovery when she began volunteering at UCLA Ronald Reagan’s support group setting in the acute center where she had been a patient. “It was born on the heels of me wanting to share my story,” she told Mirror Media. “I was the [recovery] example and could show that there is life after stroke.”

Rivera facilitated that group for seven years on a weekly basis and then four years ago started her first private support group in Pacific Palisades. A year after that she began the Brentwood group and her groups at UCLA Santa Monica and St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica started a year ago.

“When you have a stroke it can become such an isolating incident,” Rivera said. “While everybody’s story is different and everyone is going to have a different outcome, when you’re in a camaraderie together, it motivates you and pushes you toward recovery.”

She also makes sure attendees feel safe and comfortable in the group environment. “You’re very vulnerable when you have a stroke and it’s an emotional roller coaster. You have to be raw and real and it’s scary to show that side of yourself.”

To help people through their recovery, Rivera said she speaks about making a yardstick of where they began when they first had their stroke to looking at where they are today. She also points people to resources and new technologies and brings in guest speakers.

One of the most important things Rivera brings to her groups is her ability to just listen to their stories. “I believe just by being me and holding space and encouraging them is important.”

A great deal of stroke survival is dependent on constantly doing repetitive exercises. “For some people it’s too difficult or too boring and when they don’t see immediate results they want to give up,” Rivera said. “But I’m constantly cheerleading for them and showing them the importance of repetition. You have to learn how to find patience because it literally is one day at a time. That, and being hopeful.”

Rivera’s support groups are held at:

The Presbyterian Church in Pacific Palisades every second Thursday of the month from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

University Synagogue in Brentwood on the first and third Monday of each month from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

UCLA Santa Monica at 16th Street every third Wednesday from 3 – 4 p.m.

St. John’s Hospital every first Friday of the month from 2 – 3 p.m. (There is also free valet parking.)

Dana Rivera has changed her suffering from a stroke into awareness and support campaigns.

For more information email danasusanrivera@gmail.com

Related Posts

The Los Angeles Real Estate Market May Finally Be Slowing Down

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Real estate sales drop 21 percent in past year By Dolores Quintana The Los Angeles real estate market is showing...

Redevelopment Complete of Former Westside Pavilion Macy’s

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

Developer announces complete of West End at Pico and Overland Developer HLW, on behalf of GPI Companies and in partnership...

Mayor Himmelrich’s Tax Transfer Measure Is Favored to Qualify for the November Election

June 24, 2022

June 24, 2022

In a cursory review, the City Clerk’s office verified 10,277 of the over 11,000 signatures  By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica...

Active Shooter Training Set for Santa Monica Middle School Friday

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Drill to take place at John Adams Middle School Friday morning By Sam Catanzaro ​​An active shooter training will take...

Metro Church and Cafe Fundraising To Keep Space in Santa Monica

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Non-profit church and coffee shop shut down following false vermin complaint By Dolores Quintana Metropolis Santa Monica is a multi-use...

New Coffee Shop Open on Montana Avenue

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Go Get ‘Em Tiger up and running on corner of Montana and 10th  By Dolores Quintana A new coffee shop...

15-Year Department Veteran Selected as Santa Monica’s Next Director of Library Services

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Erica Cuyugan leads Santa Monica Public Library After performing a nationwide search, the City of Santa Monica recently selected Erica...

Cardboard City Returning to Santa Monica This Weekend

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

5,000 square foot innovative pop-up art installation returns June 25 with opening ceremony  Cardboard City, a 5,000 square foot innovative...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

Santa Monica Resident Injured in Apartment Fire

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Pico Neighborhood apartment catches fire last week By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident was injured in an apartment fire...

Bonin Requests Lease Extension for a Bridge Home Homeless Shelter

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

Motion currently pending in City Council committee  By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is pushing to extend...

Mountain Lion Killed by Vehicle Near the Same Spot Her Mother Was Fatally Struck in 2018

June 21, 2022

June 21, 2022

P-54 killed on Las Virgenes Road last Friday By Sam Catanzaro Not too far from where her mother was hit...

Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years: Santa Monica Beat – June 20th, 2022

June 20, 2022

June 20, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Rent Board Has Approves Highest Rental Increase In 40 Years * Recreational Marijuana...

Santa Monica Families Earning Upwards of $190,000 Can Qualify for Mortgage Relief

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

State expands California Mortgage Relief Program By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica families earning upwards of $190,000 can qualify for mortgage...