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Alumni involved in the Stroke Support Group 

The Stroke Support Group, based in Pretoria, has an interesting connection with the University of Pretoria. It was established in 1983 when an occupational therapist, Pam Chasen, organised a group of people from all professions who were interested in strokes and some who had suffered from strokes themselves. The idea was that professional members of the group would offer therapy and support to stroke victims at a nominal annual membership fee.  

Ms Ingrid Vorwerk Marren and Ms Glen Goldblum are some of the group’s founding members. Ms Vorwerk Marren studied physiotherapy at the college that was incorporated into the University of Pretoria, qualified as a lecturer in Phsysiotherapy at Tuks and lectured at the Department of Physiotherapy. She is the current chairperson of the group. Ms Goldblum is a Speech Therapy lecturer at UP and was only involved with the group at the beginning. Two other current committee members also have ties with the University. Mr Dereck Brummer completed a BA and a Diploma in Alternative Communication at UP. Ms Antjie Ziervogel also studied at UP and her father was a professor at the University.  

Currently the group meets on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:30 for social support, group therapy or demonstrations or lectures on interesting topics. Spouses and caregivers also receive support. Regular outings to museums and an annual holiday are also organised. The members of the group are very close to each other, and new members are always given a warm welcome. The support and friendship stroke victims find in the group inspire and motivate them. Some of their miracle stories include a member who started walking again, many who started talking, some who started driving, one who started sewing and others who started to participate in sport. Ultimately, the group provides a circle of like-minded friends for people who have experienced a life-changing and debilitating incident. 

To join as a member or helper or to offer services, please call Ingrid Vorwerk Marren at 082 893 8142. You can also order Casual Day stickers from the Stroke Support Group.

The Stroke Support Group helps with small tasks like taking blood pressure

A stroke victim learns to write again