"Remember that a successful recovery starts with you."

Blackwell is a dynamic female with unusually strong entrepreneurial talents who has always managed her own life with determination and helped others along the way. After college, she worked in advertising for the Los Angeles Times, which led to her own enterprise, Unique Designs, highlighting the achievements of African American artists. She was physically active and a devout Christian. Then, in her fifties, she had a major stroke. Friends and family rushed to help her, and she continued her own lifelong pattern of helping herself. But the task was not easy: such small accomplishments as cleaning the kitchen and making a meal were major milestones. She is proud that on the day she was released from therapy, she was able to walk to the polls to vote for President Barack Obama. She experienced a protracted struggle to secure disability income assistance, resulting in another victory for this courageous woman.

Blackwell’s book is permeated with faith-based quotations and her conviction that God has helped her throughout her tough battles. In addition to these messages of spiritual hope, much practical advice is given. Using personal anecdotes, she reveals the complexities of the often daunting social services system, including how to access help from hospital caseworkers to assist with applying for state disability; she recommends hiring an attorney if initial applications fail. She reminds her readers that most communities have transportation for the disabled, which was a great boon to her in getting to her therapy sessions and other needed appointments. She offers a helpful list of scriptures, songs, and books that gave her needed motivation every day, along with a guide to stroke causes and treatments. A series of photographs pay tribute to her continued vitality. Her advice can doubtless serve as a welcome, supportive resource for stroke victims and their families.

Return to USR Home