DeMaria Building Company has generously given to Henry Ford Health System patients and programs for more than two decades. Beginning as a sponsor of an annual golf outing supporting various system priorities, three years ago DeMaria decided to direct their giving to the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp for stroke patients and their families.

“Everyone has been impacted or knows someone that has had their lives changed by a close family member or friend who has had a stroke,” says Mark Brimmeier, Vice President of DeMaria. “Knowing that our donation had the potential to impact so many people, we knew we wanted to continue our involvement.”

DeMaria’s generosity has sponsored the retreat for three years now, underwriting the costs for facilities, food, and supplies for the weekend. Their gift, along with support through the system wide Employee and Physician Giving Campaign, ensure that the Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp weekend is offered at a greatly discounted rate to attendees.

“This is a life-changing event, and we are thrilled to know that our sponsorship can help families get away and relax for a weekend with other survivors,” says Mark.

The 2018 camp, held in August, hosted 23 campers and 14 volunteers who participated in camp activities like crafting, bonfires, wagon rides, and even an end-of-camp variety show and competition. Camp also included therapeutic and relationship-building activities, such as massage and group sessions for both stroke survivors and caregivers. These sessions allow both groups to share their thoughts with others going through similar experiences.

“Stroke survivors have the chance to attend a camp focused on them, where they can relax and enjoy one another’s company and discuss some of the common challenges they face due to similar disabilities and share tips,” says Megan Brady, manager of the Stroke Program. “For the caregivers who are experiencing similar stressors while caring for their loved ones after a stroke, it gives them a chance to relax and connect too.”

Stroke patients and their caregivers report that the camp has had a profound impact on their self-confidence, skills and capabilities, thereby helping them manage and enjoy day-to-day life activities that they may have avoided before.

“Recent stroke survivors also benefit from meeting others who have suffered a stroke years ago, to see that they are living a happy and healthy life after a stroke,” says Megan. “For those who come year after year, you can see their improvement each year. It’s encouraging. It’s a positive experience.”

A positive experience made possible by this unique corporate partnership with DeMaria Building Company.


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