“For more than 50 years I was a broadcast journalist. During that half century I worked in commercial, public, educational, and international broadcasting – in management, in the classroom, and on the air. My voice and the words I wrote were heard around the world.
Now ALS is all too quickly quieting my voice – my once brisk baritone is now a halting hoarse whisper. And hands that once typed 100 words a minute are reduced to a few fingers slowly poking out one letter at a time.
The very core of my life’s work has been the ability to communicate, and the prospect of losing that skill has produced more anguish than any other aspect of ALS.
Team Gleason to the rescue – both materially and psychologically. Steve Gleason’s inspiring story and the positive, proactive team that has rallied around him offered immediate encouragement that my days as a communicator were not over – indeed, should never end.
My speech therapist, who, among others, alerted me about Team Gleason, had urged me to bank my voice so that I could someday load it on a text-to-speech device.
My wife and I applied to Team Gleason for a grant to cover the hefty insurance copay for the TD Pilot. Team Gleason graciously accepted our grant application, and to our surprise and lasting gratitude, also agreed to buy the lifetime license to my Acapela voice, as well as the Predictable AAC app, which can read aloud in my voice the text I have typed with my eyes.
When ALS silences my vocal cords and stills my fingers, I won’t raise a white flag. Instead I will continue to communicate as I have for decades with the written and spoken word, thanks in great part to the material support and the encouragement of Team Gleason.”
Bill T., Gaithersburg, MD