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About My New Normal

Suzanne Tobin is a former copy editor and designer for The Washington Post. At 59, in great health and working full-time as a copy editor for AARP, Suzanne was planning a trip to London to celebrate her 60th birthday, when everything changed. She experienced a series of seemingly unrelated health complications... Read more

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ABCs for Brain Injury Survivors: C is for Comeback

The Stroke Comeback Center (SCC) is opening a second location at 55 West Edmonston Drive in Rockville on the corner of Rockville Pike on March 12. They welcome not only stroke survivors, but brain injury survivors as well.

Save the date! There will be an open house at the Stroke Comeback Center on Thursday, April 26.

I met Darlene Williamson, the SCC executive director at a GROWS (Grass Roots Organization for the Well-being of Seniors) networking event in September, not realizing she had been named a 2017 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine.

Darlene, a speech therapist, started her nonprofit in 2005 in Vienna, Va. They offer various activities, including presentation skills, conversation groups, brain games and book clubs. Their days of operation are Monday-Friday, with activities running from 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Check out the Stroke Comeback Center program calendar.

I had been pining to join in their programs since my brain injury diagnosis in 2013, but it had not been an option until now because I live in Germantown, Md.

It is maybe 10 miles as the crow flies, but it might as well have been the moon for me, since, by car, it involved taking I-270 to the Beltway (I-495) to cross over to Virginia on the American Legion Bridge  (and all the traffic in between). The other choices were MetroAccess, (which is like an airport shuttle, and the longer the trip, the longer the ride, since they have to try to serve as many disabled people along the route as they can) or a 90-minute subway ride, which meant it was not a realistic possibility.

Now it’s only 13 miles and 20 minutes by car (or a bit longer on MetroAccess) to their new location in Rockville for me and all my friends in my Rockville Brain Injury Support Group that meets on the second and fourth Thursdays at 6:30-7:30 at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockville. My friend, Carlos Quintinilla, and I can’t wait for our intake appointments and a chance to take advantage of their programs. Check out the Stroke Comeback Center program calendar.

It will allow me to continue to improve my speech and cognitive skills in an affordable and supportive setting.

Thanks, Darlene,  for expanding to Montgomery County.

You’re the best!

For an intake interview in Rockville, email Melissa Richman, Program Director, at

Folks can also call the Vienna location at 703-255-5221 to set up an intake appointment until their Maryland number is installed.
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Suzanne Tobin

About Suzanne Tobin

Suzanne Tobin is a former copy editor and designer for The Washington Post.


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