2013 Holiday Campaign


Here’s what TAP clients / families had to tell about our programs:


From TAP Family Member, Ashley H.

NancyOver the past several years, TAP has meant more to my Mother and me than I could ever put into words. The camaraderie between this group of survivors and their caregivers is one that inspired and comforted me in the most difficult time of our lives…
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From TAP Family Member, Melissa’s sister Melanie

MelissaIn December 2010, my sister Melissa, an artist and athlete, suffered a massive stroke while traveling alone in Florida. The stroke paralyzed the right side of her body, and destroyed her brain’s language center. She was left with severe aphasia, the loss of language function. Although she could still understand the speech of others, she could no longer translate her own thoughts into words. Even her own name was lost to her…
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From TAP Client, Jenni

JenniLast June, my husband found TAP through a friend of ours involved in speech therapy. At the time, I was nonverbal after I sustained a kick to the head while teaching a horseback riding lesson. I was desperate to speak again, and my husband was tenacious in finding a source of support apart from therapy. My doctors and therapists were wonderful, but hesitant to tell me that I could ever regain fluent speech or conquer the aphasia and verbal apraxia I had acquired enough to go back to work…
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From TAP Spouse, Ron, about his wife, Anne

Ron and AnnI was distressed at my inability to help my wife, Anne, who was widely known as an educator, leader, and community activist. Two strokes had impacted her communication skills. She still possessed her wit and intelligence, but her speech consisted largely of made-up words, garbled language, and misused words like her favorite, “chicken”… I later learned this communication disorder was called aphasia…
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From TAP Daughter, Kristen, 14 years old

Kristen and her FamilyMy name is Kristen and I am 14 years old. My mom suffered a stroke over Labor Day weekend 2012.
Although I knew what a stroke was, I always had the impression that it happened to older people and not a 40- year-old like my mom. The three weeks in the hospital were very stressful and also very uncertain. We were lucky that the physical side effects from the stroke were not as bad as they could have been… 
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From TAP Spouse, Barbara regarding her husband, James

James and Barbara“On July 5, 2012, James suffered a massive stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side. James was unable to speak or perform any of his daily activities. This was a challenge for him being that James had just retired from the military after 27 years and he was ordained as a pastor in May of 2012. But God knew the plans that he had for James.
James stayed in the hospital for three months. After returning home he began therapy at Wake Med in Clayton. He was then introduced to TAP… 
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From TAP Group Leader, Candace

Candace“In February of this year, I found myself at TAP’s door, having retired from speech pathology at the UNC Hospital Rehabilitation Center the previous May. I had come to speech therapy later in life than most, starting graduate school with children in college and a husband not too far away from retirement himself. I used to tell my clients, “I may look like a seasoned speech pathologist, but I’m really just seasoned.” I may have been short on decades of professional experience, but had accumulated years of life experience…
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From TAP Client, Shawn, just 46 years old when he suffered a massive stroke

Shawn and hid familyOn a Sunday night in January 2013 I was exercising and enjoying playing hockey with friends, which I have done since I was 5 years old. I finished the game and went home to prepare for work the next day and then went to bed. In the middle of the night I suffered a massive stroke on the left side of my brain from a dissected carotid artery, due to a hit to my throat by a hockey stick. I didn’t know what was happening to me until I arrived at the hospital… 
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From Hope: TAP Client, Volunteer and TAP Life Participation Award…

I was practicing as a speech-language pathologist in Raleigh, working with children who had difficulties with their speech. But my husband, Brad got transferred to a territory up in Ohio and parts of Michigan, and we were both young newlyweds and we thought, “This will be exciting to be in a new part of the country! Oh, it’s going to be so fun!”
I was in a car accident a little over 11 years ago in Ohio. I was on a two-lane road when the car in front of me was turning left, so I stopped when this truck carrying construction equipment did not see me stopped in the road…
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From Carolyn, our “founding mother” and husband of Ray

Carolyn and RayI have been involved in caregiving before TAP was started – in fact Ray and I were involved with the first meetings about starting such an organization.
It has been heartwarming to see how TAP Unlimited has evolved during the last 12 years. From a very small group struggling with everything except a very dedicated leader, Maura, to what it is today. That is a modern day miracle.
Until recently, we did not have a permanent “home”…
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From Maura English Silverman

Mauras MomOn the final day of the 12 Days of TAP, I thought it only fitting to offer my story. Not why I started TAP so many years ago, not why I passionately believe in it’s philosophy and how incredibly blessed I feel to be able to serve individuals with aphasia, their families and the community.  You all have likely heard that part of the story. What you haven’t heard is what aphasia has done to me, why it’s impact has forever altered my life, and those of whom I love. I thought it only fitting to tell this truth, to share this raw reality, given the brave and candid glimpses provided by the 11 stories to date…
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