12 Days of Tap 2020: Day 2
Speak Softly and Be Heard
– Melissa Stanfield –
Maura’s Intro: There are many quotes that come to mind when I think of Melissa and her soft, kind and accepting voice. “The voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls” (Friedrich Nietzsche) is the one that rises to the surface. Melissa’s aphasia has, as long as I have known her, never stopped her from connecting, engaging and supporting her TAP friends. This strong and gentle support is evidenced in every group that Melissa participates in, both in person and now in our Zoom meetings.
I may have a reputation (based on Melissa’s comment below 😊) of tough coaching, but Melissa does not back away from challenges. She is the first to say “bring it on” and offer her voice to any effort that TAP makes to increase Aphasia awareness or assists in the process of neuroplasticity for herself and her TAP friends! She recently participated in the UnMasking Brain Injury project through the Brain Injury Association of NC. If you have not seen this video…take the time to be impressed and inspired: https://youtu.be/kwtaW6RDdxM.
Rich, Melissa’s husband, offers his perspective in today’s story and mentions the support that the “Ice Breakers” make to our organization…stay tuned for a story this week that will tell you how our sustainer program has helped keep TAP afloat, especially during this difficult time! Rich also mentions a program called Amazon Smile. If you aren’t familiar… smile.amazon.com. Click here for instructions. You are shopping online anyways, right? Why not have it support your favorite nonprofit.
Michelle (client): In 2017 my world changed overnight. I had a stroke. I lost my voice. I was a nurse and never heard of aphasia.
I had my family they were great. They supported me and encouraged me.
When I heard of TAP I was afraid to go.
Then I met Maura and I was more afraid. 😉
Now I can spell better and read better than before my stroke.
I enjoy going to TAP. Zoom made possible to see friends and make new friends.
Thank you TAP. My second family.
Rich Stanfield (spouse): TAP is truly a lifesaver. TAP overcomes one’s inherent shyness, allowing people with shared experiences to get to know each other, trust each other, and learn from each other. Melissa has really been able to be more herself, and in fact more outgoing and talkative with others than before her stroke. This is because TAP gave her a voice she didn’t think she had. TAP has given us methods to prepare for a doctor’s appointment, a shopping trip, etc. When I cannot go with Melissa, she still has the confidence to go it alone.
In today’s COVID environment, we especially appreciate TAP finding a solution to serve their clients – Melissa looks forward to TAP sessions so she can see friends that she otherwise would not.
I am glad that we are fortunate enough to afford Melissa’s sessions, as well as provide ICEBREAKER donations for those that are not so fortunate. I hope others consider donating to TAP, too. Also, don’t forget smile.amazon.com!
From the TAP Home Office:
TAP Unlimited’s End of Year Campaign provides TAP Stakeholders an opportunity to embrace the reason for our efforts and hear from those who have been impacted by aphasia. Aphasia, as you know, can be a devastating impairment resulting in social isolation, depression and disengagement from the passions and purpose of an individual’s life. It can interrupt a career, destroy plans for retirement and threaten relationships. TAP Unlimited is embarking on its 18th year of service to those effected by aphasia across the Triangle and beyond.
Our ability to pivot and create a virtual world of connection possibilities, to stay afloat and to even thrive, has been, in no small way, a result of the generosity of our donor base. Today, we ask that you continue to support TAP by doing the following:
- Share this story. Share it on your social media, in emails to your family/friends and to those you work with…it will increase awareness of Aphasia and provide hope to those who feel alone in this journey.
- Consider an end-of-year gift to TAP. You can donate online and make it a gift by honoring someone on the aphasia journey.
- Donations can also be mailed in the form of a check or a donation of stock. Email us for more information.
Thank you for your faith in our organization and for supporting the 12 Days of TAP!