Stroke Survivor to Share His Story at Aphasia Awareness Event

The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) is hosting an Aphasia Awareness Event on Friday, June 10, 2016. The event, is designed to raise awareness of aphasia and coincides with National Aphasia Awareness month in June.

Aphasia is an acquired language and communication disorder, most often due to stroke and/or head injury, affecting over one million people in the United States. “Having aphasia like beiAvi Golden strokeng in a foreign country and barely being able to speak or understand words that you hear and see, only the condition is chronic and you can never leave the ‘country’ to go ‘home’,” says Aimee Dietz, PhD, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the UC College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) who specializes in aphasia.

The event features a keynote presentation by Avi Golden titled, “Surviving My Stroke.” Golden was 33 years old and working as an emergency medical technician in New York City, when he suffered a left-hemisphere stroke resulting in aphasia. In the nine years since his stroke, Golden has refused to let aphasia get in the way of his dreams, embarking on a mission of advocacy to educate the community about aphasia and its affects.

As part of his advocacy, twice a week Golden can be found at the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, New Jersey, which is a social center for people with aphasia and their family members and caregivers. There he encourages patients to push themselves to engage in activities such as skydiving, something he has done twice.

“Come stretch your boundaries,” Golden tells them, urging them to “expand your horizons after becoming disabled.”

“I found Avi on Facebook through a site called Aphasia Recovery Connection,” Dietz says.  “He connected with me. Once he found out I was on faculty at UC, he asked me if he could come fill an auditorium to increase aphasia awareness. This event is happening as a direct result of his passion and desire to increase the public’s awareness about this invisible disability.”

The Aphasia Awareness event is Friday, June 10, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Kresge Auditorium in the Medical Sciences Building. In addition to the keynote and Q & A with Golden, the event will feature a stroke survivors panel. Dietz hopes it will become an annual event. For more information, or to register for this event, contact Aimee Dietz at ucaphasia@gmail.com or 513-558-8544.

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