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Our mascot needs a name!

Dear Mr. Gates,

       I was talking to a friend a few days ago, trying to talk about aphasia and trying to tell him how it works, and I just couldn't do it. It was easy to say something like "I have a communication problem" but what does that mean? How can I tell another person that all of my words, numbers or something else are just "mixed up" in my brain? I said, to my friend, it's like my brain is "fragmented"...and that worked! My friend and I know about computers and it was easier to talk about a computer than aphasia. From now on I will only talk about aphasia using computers, for example…

       Aphasia is like a computer, or even better, like a hard drive that was dropped on the floor too many times! All of the files (in my brain) are really there, but they have moved around instead of being properly put where they should be...kind-of fragmented. All of the "files" (sounds, names, concepts, etc.) are sitting around all over the place instead of in the right "folders". It takes me a long time to find the right words or numbers so that I can speak, talk or write properly. When aphasia's mind is fragmented it has files that are "detached". For example, wives become sisters, sisters become mothers, fathers become brothers and a house may become a mouse. It's all there, but it's mixed-up!

       Our brains, like a hard drive, are fragmented...not broken, just detached: all of the concepts, music, dreams and whole libraries are right there, like all of the files in the computer, but it just needs some help. My friend and I always "fix" our computers before we do anything else...we "Scandisk" first then run the "Disk Defragmenter" and most of the time our computers start working the way it should. So, Mr. Gates and company...how about it? You can program anything, you know that you can. How about our minds? There are millions of people that want to work. There are millions of people that want to sing, create art, write and love. There are millions of people, and there will be more, that want our brains defragmented. Think about it...our "programs" will work faster, our "spellers" or Thesaurus could work properly again and we could insert, edit, delete or paste anything we want to, just the way it used to be. Why not?

       It you could do that, the millions of people that have communication problems could find a new "windows" through the mind. Think about it...and brand-new Windows...a new Windows of the Mind!

Thanks for listening,

Thomas M. Phillips
Charlevoix, Michigan
November, 1998

He really can hear, see and talk but he doesn't want to. He has aphasia and he thinks it's

More than a million people in America feel the same way. More than 70% of those
afflicted want to just stay home.

You can click on the mascot or send an email message to ghosters
and give us a name for the mascot. He needs it.

Can you

Thousands of afflicted people connected to others, talking about their communication problems, sharing letters, jokes, new
Information on the Internet and more…talking to
people, online, learning at the same time...Wow!

Today, computers are relatively inexpensive. So many people upgrade to new computers all the time, and the old computers cannot just "thrown away" any more. You have to pay to get rid of them.

There are millions of people that could use older computers, and start to relearn.

Good Idea? I thought so too.

Bizarre? Are you sure? How long before the scientists and the doctors associate the technology state-of-the-art and our minds, and let the million of people go back to work, dream and create again? Eventually, I believe, we will find the "connection" but, for now I will stay with my journey. I'm not the same person that I use to be: my aphasia changed my life, of course, but since communication has always been the most important part of my world it is now my obsession. I know it can be done and I want everyone to know. It does not matter if someone can only "go back" ten-percent, or fifty-percent...it doesn't matter. The fact that if we can get better every single day, make even one word "our own" every day, this is progress.

And my passion? Seeing the millions of people that have aphasia using computers, programs like Microsoft Word and have a connection to the Internet and email systems so that those afflicted can start to relearn, create, write again and communicate to others at the same time. Using email systems, talking to others that have disabilities, share letters, new items found in the Internet about aphasia, share jokes or pictures. Using the Internet to find everything about our own disabilities and, while doing all of that...relearning, every single day!

Typically, those afflicted are older, and at the same time have limited funds to do what it takes. There are thousands of older computers and systems sitting in basements or storage, sitting there because hospitals, corporate companies, etc.,  can't just "throw them away" anymore...so, why not just give them to those that need them? People do not need brand-new computers, just need an operating system, Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer. Millions of people could learn and relearn, and they could have a quality life again.

Before my stroke I had never heard about aphasia, just like everyone else. Because those afflicted never talk about it...no one knows. Because it is a "silent disability" you never hear about it. Today, I do not know how to get the visibility yet, but this website is the beginning. There are several good websites that are just about aphasia, and some of them send out newsletters or something else...but, almost all of them do nothing. More than 80% of those websites are "online" but there is no telephone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses or anything else. Most of them never even reply. There just online...doing nothing. It's a waste of time. We need visibility! More than a million people in America, and counting. Yes, I do have an obligation today, and the names are things like sincere, resolute, determined and intense. It must happen.

Let's change the channel for awhile...let's take a break...next