Mary Nicholson

Adversity: Suffered stroke & brain aneurysm in 2003

Advocacy: Founded Healings in Motion to support Northern California stroke victims

“For me to be able to help other people… it has given me joy again. It has given me a sense of purpose.”

A longtime veteran of television and radio broadcasting, Mary Nicholson was living a very comfortable life when her world was turned upside down in early 2003. First, she lost her husband to pancreatic cancer. Then, while still in mourning, Mary suffered a brain aneurysm, including an acute sub-arachnoid bleed and a stroke. Subsequently she had a Grand Mal seizure and lost movement in her shoulder for a year. As Mary describes her ordeal, she had to become a child again, one who could neither walk nor talk.

Mary refused to accept a life without mobility and communication. Drawing on strength she developed growing up in the projects of Los Angles, she endured countless hours of therapy and regained her lost abilities. Along the way, she joined a stroke support group in Stockton, California, and found herself reaching out to others who had been through what she had. Mary discovered that the more she helped fellow stroke victims, the more she, herself, healed. Drawing on what she calls a “Pay it Forward” model, Mary decided to dedicate her life to raising awareness of strokes and other traumatic brain injuries and supporting those who have endured them. She founded the non-profit Healings in Motion, and through it continues her passionate advocacy work to this day.

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