Hello, Friend of Cowboy Aphasia Camp! We wanted to share a message from Diana, a family member of a lady who regularly attends Cowboy Aphasia Camp. As a family member, she knows first-hand the challenges of aphasia, and the ways an aphasia camp makes a difference.
Diana writes: Do you enjoy conversations with family members and close friends, free to express some of your deepest thoughts? Now imagine living for 23 years without that ease of expression, the comfort of interacting with friends, the necessity of communicating with strangers. My sister Judy had a stroke 23 years ago and emerged from a weeks-long coma to her new reality - a language disorder called aphasia. A retired teacher with a master’s degree in education, she could no longer speak, read or write easily. Her friends dropped away, unsure how to communicate with her, and she struggled with the embarrassment of not being able to do what she used to do with ease.
Fast forward to recent years: Cowboy Aphasia Camp, a one-week day camp held at OSU-Tulsa, gave my sister a much-needed social outlet and language support opportunities. At camp my sister spends the week with others who struggle with aphasia and a support team of graduate students in the OSU speech language graduate program. The team implements a variety of therapies and activities to strengthen the campers’ communication skills in a supportive and non-threatening environment. It’s a time to work, have fun, improve communication and relax mentally with a group of people who know what you’ve gone through and are still experiencing.
This summer she got to do something I never would have guessed for her. At Climb Tulsa, using a handlebar-style “ascender”, she ratcheted herself up about 30 feet. Two of her grown children got to watch her do something very physical, and they were so proud of her. In my mind, that sense of accomplishment is one of the best outcomes of Cowboy Aphasia Camp!
Thank you so much for supporting camp. Could you share Judy's story with others to help spread the word about Cowboy Aphasia Camp? Your message could be just what it takes to push us over the top in our fundraising efforts so Judy and other campers can keep #RockingAphasia.
Thank you so much.
The Cowboy Aphasia Camp Team
p.s. We are neck and neck with the OSU Cheerleaders for total number of donors so far. Incentive prizes are awarded on November 11!