Stroke equipment by a stroke warrior
Overcoming aphasia with public speaking

Tell that to the Stroke Warrior…

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.

Whew.

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)

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