Board of Directors
Director of PR
Sajeevan (Saj) Eswarakumar
“Leave everything a little bit better than you found it.”
Sajeevan Eswarakumar, more commonly known as Saj, is the chairman and founder of Life After Stroke.Saj originally started Life After Stroke as a personal blog to share his road to recovery after surviving a stroke in 2012. What emerged from this experience was a deep passion for serving the stroke community and helping other survivors like himself share their own stories.
On top of building a community for Young Brain Injury Survivors (YBIS), Saj has established a career working in the railroad industry since 2009. Currently, he is a Workblock Planning Officer for Metrolinx, while also serving as a patient partner with the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. Not afraid to rock a fresh pair of sneakers or “shred the gnar” with his snowboard, Saj is also a self-proclaimed proud Canadian explorer who has filled his life full of food, coffee and photography.
Over the past year and a half, Saj has overseen the implementation of numerous LAS initiatives (including the release of an ongoing Fundscrip fundraising campaign, the inaugural LAS Newsletter and LAS Survivor’s Support Group Meetings), supported the Director of Public Relations in building a marketing team, supported numerous volunteers in establishing their roles and building a base foundation, set up various systems of internal processing and management to ensure the organization operates as per documented SOP processes, liaised with multiple organizations to increase awareness of LAS and build relationships, contributed as planner and participant of the LAS Fitness Challenge, and helped lay the foundation for applying for charitable status.
“I’m still standing” – Scarface
James is an urban planner with a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) from York University. He has always enjoyed riding his bike, playing guitar, and walking his beloved dog Digsy. He joined the stroke survivor community after a slo-pitch accident unexpectedly led to a brain bleed with stroke-like symptoms. Yet, he has chosen to continue pushing forward in his life by getting married and planning to start a family with his wife Jessica. He also serves on the TTC Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT). Over the past year, James has spearheaded LAS’ inaugural fitness challenge fundraiser
Dr. Laavanya Dharmakulaseelan is a neurology resident physician at the University of Toronto. Laavanya is an aspiring stroke neurologist who has a passion for advocating for patients with neurological disease, both within and outside of a clinical setting. She has been heavily involved in research in stroke and sleep disorders. Laavanya is a proud dog mom to her morkie, Theo, loves trying new food in the Greater Toronto Area, and has a small obsession with bubble tea.
Laavanya joined LAS with the purpose of engaging with young brain injury survivors to learn more about their personal obstacles and to find ways to support their recovery. She initially served as a liaison between LAS and the Tamil Association of Residents and Medical Students (TARMS) and most recently was the Editor-in-Chief for the LAS newsletter.
Akila Tavarasa is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology. She is passionate about supporting young stroke survivors as she has witnessed firsthand the impact of a brain injury on one’s life.
Akila joined Life After Stroke’s team in February 2021, where she has provided administrative support throughout the organization. In this role, she acts as a liaison between the board of directors, monitors communications through email and supports the management of records. Akila has contributed to recent milestones for LAS by coordinating its first Annual General Meeting. She continues to look forward to the growth and success of the community and is excited to support the organization from a board level.
“Live for Each second, without hesitation” – Elton John
Amanda is an Executive Assistant with 20+ years of administrative, office manager and legal experience. For her part time job, she acts as the Chair of the Parents Association for her children’s dance school, managing and overseeing fundraisers. She joined the young stroke survivor community at the age of 38 after suffering an acute ischemic stroke caused from an unknown heart defect. This life altering event caused Amanda to take a look at her life and readjust her priorities without fear. Amanda participated as a fundraising coordinator in the inaugural Life After Stroke Fitness Challenge and was the highest fundraiser.
In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her husband, two children and FOUR dogs, and mastering yoga! And she is a die-hard Elton John fan.