Help Brian Get His Voice Back

On May 28th, 2 weeks after relocating from Mississippi to Virginia, our friend Brian had a bilateral thalamic stroke, due to an unknown hole in his heart, in front of his girlfriend's (our friend, Meghan) eyes. Brian is 29 years old, a healthy Registered Dietitian, runner, and cyclist. 

The stroke severely affected both short and long term memory, language (aphasia), and cognition. After a week in the ICU, Brian was sent home to navigate the recovery process, with the goal of helping him get back to being an independent, working, productive member of society. Brian's mom Sue came to live with Brian and Meghan in Richmond. Together, with the help of friends and family, over the past few months, they have been doing tons of research, speech and occupational therapy activities, playing games, reading, using checklists, calendars, etc., and anything to engage/stimulate his mind. 

They have also been navigating the daunting world of insurance, social services, medical bills, and all the other paperwork that goes along with an event like this. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi (Brian's medical insurer through his previous employer) denied Brian speech therapy services, claiming they were "cognitive" in nature (speech therapy IS covered under his plan, although cognitive therapy is not...we argued speech language therapy is still necessary and can be performed separately). 

After 3 appeals, getting written letters from all of his doctors and therapists, and even reaching out and getting a letter from an advocate at the American Speech and Hearing Association (and help from some awesome speech path friends!), his final appeal was denied. A 29 year old stroke victim, who critically needs speech language therapy as a part of his recovery to (hopefully) help him be able to work again, was denied. 

Brian had been paying for speech therapy out of pocket (~$200 a session) while they fought BCBS. Unfortunately, he no longer has an income, and probably won't for a while, given he is unable to work. Meanwhile, he has many mounting expenses. 

Brian has made significant improvements, but still has a long way to go, to hopefully be able to get back to the profession he loves. Our goal is to raise $5,000.  Please consider donating to help Brian's family pay for expenses related to his stroke.

  • Edward Downing 
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Lisa Whirley 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Leigh Busby 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Will McHugh  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 36 mos
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Taylor King 
Raised $575 from 8 donations
Tuckahoe, VA
Susan Barnett 
Meghan Wright 
Team member
Raised $2,840 from 26 donations
Margaret Rechel 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
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