Angie Montagnese

Angie is a strong advocate who is always willing to share her story and spread awareness about stroke. She finds joy in volunteering her time as chair of After Stroke’s Peel Support Group.

smiling woman - Angie

Angie Montagnese is in a good place now. “I’ve always been a go-getter and strong person,” says Angie. “I’ve made a bad experience into a great experience. I love my life and couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Five years ago when she was 43, Angie had a warning stroke. She was dizzy, lost her vision and passed out. When she came to, she was able to call out to her son and he dialed 911.

When she got to the hospital, her vision came back, she was treated for vertigo and sent home. But Angie knew something was still wrong.

Two weeks later she had a stroke.

This time, her arm fell to her side numb and she had neck pain. She called 911. Angie told the paramedics and doctors she thought she was having a stroke. When she was seen by doctors, they thought that it must be something else because she was a woman, and so young. They treated her for a herniated disc and sent her home.

Angie pushed for an MRI. Four weeks later, the MRI confirmed that she had in fact had two strokes.

As part of her treatment, Angie attended outpatient neurological rehabilitation. It was there that her occupational therapist told her about March of Dimes Canada’s After Stroke program and the Peel Stroke Support Group.

How we helped

After attending After Stroke’s Peel Stroke Support Group, Angie started posting flyers, planning events – anything she could do to support the group’s chairperson. Two years ago, she took on the role of chair herself.

The support group means everything to her.

“That is what has helped me get to where I am today,” said Angie. “Being involved doesn’t just benefit others but me, too. The group has become like my family. We listen to each other’s stories and learn from each other’s experiences.”

One of the turning points in her own journey was accepting that she wouldn’t be the same as before the stroke. It took two years for her to accept it.

“When I finally accepted it, it was a game changer for me,” says Angie. “I felt it was a struggle and then I felt that I had finally accepted it and wanted to tell the world.”

Angie continues to experience day-to-day challenges, both memory-related and physical, like continued numbness in her left arm. But she finds ways to manage, like using notes to help her remember things. Today, she is a passionate advocate for others, always willing to share her story and spread awareness about stroke.