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St. Petersburg, FL (June 1, 2020) Voices of Hope for Aphasia, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is celebrating Aphasia Awareness Month and launching a fundraising effort to support and raise awareness of those in the Tampa Bay area who struggle with this language disorder. June is Aphasia Awareness Month, a national campaign to increase public education around the language and communication disorder caused by stroke or trauma, and to recognize the MILLIONS of people who are living with or caring for those who struggle with aphasia. 40% of those who suffer a stroke with develop aphasia. There are more people suffering from aphasia that those with Parkinson’s and ALS COMBINED!

“Use the word ‘aphasia’ and let people know what it means,” is the message from Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s Executive Director, Debbie Yones. “Every day, we hear people say things like, “OH! My uncle had a stroke and has trouble speaking, but I didn’t know it was called aphasia!” Without a term associated with the condition, VERY FEW people know that aphasia can be treated and there are resources available.”

“One of the largest issues facing those with aphasia is loneliness and isolation”, says Stephen Miller, the Vice-Chair of the Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s Board of Directors, whose wife struggles with aphasia. “For loved ones, the difficulties are numerous; there are few things in our lives that haven’t changed. Immediately, the members and staff of Voices of Hope for Aphasia welcomed us into a non-judgmental environment where others share similar challenges. Do not underestimate the relief that comes with realizing others are dealing with the same issues; you are not alone.” 

Voices of Hope for Aphasia is one of the largest and fastest-growing community-based aphasia centers in the United States, and their programming is rooted in the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia which encourages and supports reconnecting people with aphasia to their lives and interests.  All their programs operate on a contribute-what-you-can model ensuring that everyone can participate regardless of their financial situation.  Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s staff is comprised of licensed speech pathologists who continue to receive broad industry recognition. Today, Voices of Hope for Aphasia is serving a small percentage of the estimated 23,000 people in the Tampa Bay Area who have aphasia. Once insurance coverage for speech therapy runs out, people with aphasia become isolated and stop participating in life.  Centers like Voices of Hope for Aphasia, are a critical component in increasing quality of life, encouraging communication, and increasing participation in life!  Funds from the current fundraising campaign will go directly to the organization’s innovative programs for people with aphasia and their families.

For more information or to get involved, visit the Aphasia Awareness Campaign or call 727-249-1953.About the organization:  Voices of Hope for Aphasia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting participation, supporting communication, and developing community among individuals whose ability to speak, understand, write, or read was affected due to stroke or other brain injury.  The organization was formed in 2011 by founders Mike and Kathy Caputo after Mike’s stroke at the age of 51.  Aphasia impacts over 2.4 million people in the US.  There are over twice as many people living with aphasia than Parkinson’s and 150 times more than those with ALS.  One in three people who suffer a stroke will have some form of aphasia and may suffer isolation, frustration, and depression due to the disorder.   For more information about how our programs help on our programs – please visit https://www.vohaphasia.org