Jessica Lewinski (left), executive director at Literacy Now Cowichan, gave a $150 grant to Chris Rafuse (right), executive director at the Cowichan Brain Injury Society, to purchase books and other materials for the new Let’s Talk Aphasia program. (Vi Moffatt/Citizen)

Jessica Lewinski (left), executive director at Literacy Now Cowichan, gave a $150 grant to Chris Rafuse (right), executive director at the Cowichan Brain Injury Society, to purchase books and other materials for the new Let’s Talk Aphasia program. (Vi Moffatt/Citizen)

Cowichan Brain Injury Society receives grant for stroke program

Literacy Now Cowichan contributes $150 to help support reading for stroke survivors

The Cowichan Brain Injury Society has received its first $150 grant from Literacy Now Cowichan for the society’s Let’s Talk Aphasia Program, to support reading for stroke survivors.

Aphasia is a language disorder following neurological damage, most commonly caused by a stroke.

Chris Rafuse, executive director of the CBIS, said aphasia is a loss of language and not a loss of intelligence.

“In a second, a stroke can change your life,” she said.

“One day you are completely independent. The next, you’re trying to relearn the most basic skills like walking, talking, and reading.”

Rafuse said that in 2017, Statistics Canada recorded more than 3,400 people in the Cowichan area with a brain injury.

She said waiting lists for the Let’s Talk Aphasia Program, which teaches strategies and tools that can improve communication, can be up to a year long.

Rafuse said that at a cost of $120 per hour, the programs is CBIS’s most expensive to deliver, and this type of intensive treatment is not funded.

She said the CBIS really appreciates the contribution from Literacy Now Cowichan, and the society used some of the funding to buy books to be used in the program.

“CBIS has a Helping Hands Campaign asking community-minded businesses and citizens of the Cowichan area to adopt-a-program or give a donation to support our various programs,” she said.

“Every dollar counts to give hope to brain injury survivors and their families.”

For more information, email admin@cowichanbraininjury.org, or call 250-597-4662.

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