Our Stories


Hong Ru, owner and founder of Wohaula 

"When my husband suffered a major stroke 3 months before turning 41, I looked everywhere for information to help us find a path to wellness until I finally I found the work of Alison Bonds Shapiro who has been teaching recovery skills to stroke survivors and their loved ones since 2005. 
Inspired by the work of Alison and other stroke survivors who are working to improve stroke care via peer to peer coaching, I began Wohaula, which means I have survived."

Wohaula's mission is to allow survivors, families, caregivers, healthcare professionals and voluteers to easily exchange quality information. Together, we will overcome the challenges!

To make the name easier for survivors and caregivers to remember, in April 2017, we changed the name of our site from Wohaula to Strokefocus.


Hong and her husband Daniel Gu and 2 kids. The picture was taken right before Christmas 2011. In Sept 2012, Daniel suffered a brain stem stroke which totally disrupted his career and family life. 


Alison Bonds Shapiro, M.B.A.

Alison works with rehabilitation patients, rehabilitation service providers and caregivers.  Surviving and thriving after having experienced two devastating brain stem strokes herself, she is a stroke recovery and mindfulness teacher.  

She has taught and coached thousands of stroke survivors, their loved ones and care-providers. In 2009 she co-produced the DVD What Now? Sharing Brain Recovery Lessons. This video is used across the world to help survivors and family members reframe their ideas of recovery, build hope and begin to understand what may be possible for them.  

Alison’s published art and illustration includes: Just for Today, The Adventures of Tigy and Elly, and the phoenix image for Mind Matters Research.  Her published writing includes the book Healing into Possibility: The Transformational Lessons of a Stroke, and various articles and blogs. Find more information about Alison's work at: Healing Into Possibility.


 Rita Martin, LAC, senior adviser of Strokefocus (formerly Wohaula)

Rita is a licensed acupuncturist and a Certified Acutonics Practitioner. Acutonics is a form of treatment based on the principles of acupuncture that uses sound rather than needles to stimulate acupuncture points. It is non-invasive, not painful and superbly effective.

Rita is also a stroke survivor. In 1996 on a trip to Tibet, Rita suffered two strokes within the same afternoon. The strokes resulted in very serious injuries to her brain and, unable to speak or move her right side, she was given a bleak prognosis. But those who gave her that prognosis did not know Rita. Born out of her deep understanding of healing, Rita’s capacity to persist in the face of great difficulty and heal and reclaim her life is more than remarkable. Western medical practitioners shake their heads in wonder at what she has done and continues to do.

Rita did not speak a word for a year and half after her injury. Today Rita is a superb teacher as well as a healer. Her sense of fun and adventure lifts hearts. Her ever-growing knowledge of integrative medicine includes not only Acutonics, but also massage, oriental movement practices like Qi Gong, herbal medicine, and diet. Through her skills and training she provides those who are injured or ill with many ways to help themselves.