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Chippewa Valley Aphasia Camp: A community of healing

| Glen Mabie (story + video)

Some come from the Chippewa Valley, while others travel from small towns and cities across Wisconsin. And there are those who have traveled thousands of miles to visit this special place.

While they come from a variety of places and walks of life, the residents of Camp Manitou all have one thing in common: they are stroke survivors.

The caregivers at Camp Manitou, with the help of a legion of Blugolds, work to help improve the quality of life for those battling back from a serious stroke. Camp Manitou, nestled among the trees in the northern reaches of Chippewa County, has been home to the Chippewa Valley Aphasia Camp for the past 17 years.

Aphasia is a language disorder that is most often the result of a stroke or other type of brain injury. The camp is a collaboration between the UW-Eau Claire Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Mayo Clinic Health System. When it began, The Chippewa Valley Aphasia Camp was just the second of its kind in the nation. TCVAC’s success has led to similar camps throughout the United States and Canada.

While the camp is designed to help those suffering from aphasia, it also provides a valuable research opportunity for communication sciences and disorders students. The research being done now will have an impact on the future. But for the students at the camp, the impact is immediate; they’re changing lives, including their own.