ASU researchers help veterans heal through arts and crafts

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

You may think of completing a puzzle or painting by numbers as ways to pass the time. But with the help of researchers from Arizona State University, arts and crafts are helping rehabilitate veterans.

ASU's School of Community Resources & Development is helping Valley veterans like 61-year-old Mike Worra feel like themselves again. 

"I cant walk anymore and I can't move my left arm. I don't have any balance anymore so I can't even stand up," Worra said. Two years ago, the Air Force veteran had a stroke.

"It wasn't a stroke of luck or a stuck of good fortune, it was a stroke of misery," he said.

Now, thanks to donated craft kits from the non-profit group Help Heal Veterans, and the Foundation for Senior Living, Worra is piecing together his new normal. Help Heal Veterans will take what they learn from ASU and expand this to other universities across the country.

"Having to focus on something, and you can see little steps off progress," he said.

"I aim to show them I care about you and I'm here to help you grow and you're helping me grow,' said ASU senior Dana Smith.

Nothing Smith does, like sitting on Worra's left side, is by accident.  

"Showing them they can still do things and their life isn't completely over," she said. "Working with what they like to do and having fun rather than focusing on medicine and your illness."

Piece by piece, Smith is helping Worra with his concentration and his confidence.

"It gives you a little more confidence, and confidence is a good thing," Worra said. 

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Click to learn more about Lindsey

Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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