Overcoming aphasia is difficult but possible. Alon stepped up on stage this week to tell his story and pitch his stroke startup at 1 Million Cups.
Three years ago, I could talk by using broken phrases. I couldn’t use my right arm. I couldn’t grab and release my tiny balls with my right fingers & thumb. I couldn’t remember my grammar sentences structure one minute after me listening to a normal person.
So, here I was standing, now, in front of Millions Cup of Coffee audience in downtown Asheville giving a one-minute pitch for my AlonTree’s products.
A pitch is like a well-worn tall tale; you have to interject your points, wry humor and rhythmic rap.
None of that belong to pre-three-years-ago-Alon.
I knew that before I set up to the microphone.
First of all, I was a mediocre pitcher in Hollywood when I was a screenwriter. But, I got better at it. My favorite moment was this studio’s creative exec phone me up in my apartment and she said to me, “I have a really good friend at ____ Studio, can you tell us your pitch, now?” So, I launched into the story and did the dishes while I talked and talked.
I told stories to my children off of my creative memory drifting off to sleep. I told spell-bound Christians and Jewish people my midrashim* about Moses, Yaakov, Jacob and larger-than-life characters.
So, we are in the 1MC room and the mob is getting restless. I blink. I slowly gulped air into my lungs and started telling the crowd what the blue car driven the woman on the cellphone rammed into my minicar.
And, I tell the whole story about me, silenced by the coma, misjudged by the ICU doctors, waking up from the coma and I was completely mute. My right side of my body was gone in my brain. Pffff.
I was becoming a stroke victim.
Days follows nights, seasons became years, I became stronger. My muscles became fluidity and stretchable. Thanks to my neuroplasticity. Stubbornness. And, my AlonTree’s products.
I am a Stroke Warrior.
The 1MC audience gave me a solid applause.
Now, I got to go and practice the whole-hour pitch at Hatch and One Millions Cups of Coffee…
*The midrash: מִדְרָשׁ; pl. מִדְרָשִׁים midrashim) is the genre of rabbinic literature which contains early interpretations and commentaries on the Written Torah and Oral Torah (spoken law and sermons)