Support Group

Virtual support groups

Experiencing a stroke at a young age and navigating through the recovery process can be quite daunting and lonely, especially given that for so long stroke has been typically considered a disease that impacts older individuals. 

Here at Life After Stroke, we want to assist young stroke survivors with their rehabilitation and recovery. We hold monthly virtual support groups for young brain injury survivors across Canada and worldwide! These support groups allow survivors to connect with each other over shared similar experiences. The support group leaders also provide helpful resources for attendees and have guest speakers who specialize in various aspects of stroke recovery.

Our support groups are led by Julie Tomaino, who is a stroke survivor herself, and our support group coordinators: Ella Sofia (young stroke survivor and motivational speaker), Rachel (occupational therapist), and Evita (young stroke survivor).

New attendees are always welcome! Please email [email protected] for more information and to sign up to attend!

Young Stroke Survivor Support Group Meeting

Our next young stroke survivor virtual support group is Tuesday January 24th. Our guest speaker, Tymiak Hawkins, will be talking about overcoming adversity.

Tymiak (pronounced Ty-MEEK) Hawkins

In the early hours of June 5, 2019, a God-like figure came to Tymiak in a dream and said, “It’s time to go.” Tymiak, who had been experiencing issues with balance, coordination, and vision, knew that the figure was urging him to go to the hospital. After a series of tests, Tymiak was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation which led to a stroke. He tackled his therapies head-on, but he knew his work was not done. Tymiak was inspired to write this book to share his story and serve as a guide for others who have had similar experiences with stroke and other brain conditions. It is Tymiak’s hope that this book teaches its readers about the early signs of stroke, what to expect during the recovery process, and how stroke patients and their caregivers can help each other through this life-changing event.

Tymiak Hawkins (pronounced Ty-MEEK) is a dynamic author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, innovator, and health advocate. A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, he is a Philadelphia native that currently resides in New Jersey with his wife, Rachel. Tymiak is Co-Founder of 2 The T and COO of Your Finances Simplified– two brands dedicated to creating awareness about brain health and personal financial literacy. He is passionate about helping people reach their fullest potential and creating an inclusive environment for success in life.

For more information, visit, or follow Tymiak on Instagram @twothet2.0

Join us at 7 PM EST/ 5 PM MST/4 PM PST on Zoom where you will get to connect with other members of our growing community to chat about how you are doing.

This session is for LAS members only. Contact Julie to find out more about becoming a member!

Email [email protected] or more information and to sign up. And if you’ve never used Zoom before, no worries—we got you! Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to use Zoom for our virtual support group.

While we usually love to bring our Life After Stroke community together, unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic all in-person events within our community are on hold for the foreseeable future. Keep an eye out on this page though for all of our upcoming virtual meet-ups or—even better—when we return with IRL meetups. Can’t wait to see you all again and connect.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear of our return to community events. 

You can check out some of our Support Group guest Speakers on our YouTube Channel.

Meet the Team

Julie Tomaino
Support Group Administrator
Julie has been volunteering with Life After Stroke for the past year. After surviving a massive stroke in 2017, Julie found she was placed in a rehab facility with no one she could relate to – most other survivors during her stay were older and/or less motivated than she was in returning to pre-stroke life. She took to social media to search for other young survivors and found an entire community. Julie is dedicated to helping survivors both accept where they are post-stroke and work hard towards their recovery goals, because she truly believes that recovery lasts the rest of your life.

Ella Sofia
Support Group Coordinator

Ella Sofia is a habit coach and content creator at After sustaining a brain injury at 14 years old, Ella learned how to harness the power of the mind to transition her rock-bottom into her breakthrough. Through a process dubbed mental rehabilitation, Ella teaches tactical advice on topics such as habit creation and narrative to help clients make their rock bottom to breakthrough transitions as well.
Ella became involved with Life After Stroke in 2020.

Rachel Dinoff
Support Group Coordinator
Rachel has been volunteering with Life After Stroke since February 2021. She is an occupational therapist and has worked in stroke rehab in inpatient and community settings. She is passionate about supporting young brain injury survivors throughout their recovery journey and is looking forward to her continued involvement with LAS!