CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A new support group at the University of Virginia Medical Center will give stroke survivors the chance to share their personal experiences and struggles with those who know what they're going through.

UVA is partnering with the Joe Niekro Foundation to launch this support group for patients who have had brain aneurysms and hemorrhagic strokes.

Niekro's daughter Natalie started the foundation after her father, a major league baseball pitcher, died of a brain aneurysm.

This will be the first support group of its kind in central Virginia.

UVA's neurosurgery team says this effort is needed to help patients regain a sense of normalcy.

"A lot of times patients come back and have a long-term relationship with us, and something that we see often is that emotional distress after a stroke not only with the patient but their caregivers," said Zuseen Rannigan, neurosurgery nurse practitioner.

“What we really want to get across is these types of feelings are not unique, and many people who have suffered from these types of processes will experience this," said Dr. Min Park, UVA Neurosurgery.

Anyone is welcome to attend the support group.  The first meeting will be held September 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Education Resource Center.