Level Up Aphasia

Level Up Aphasia is our series of conversations with aphasia advocates on living and thriving with aphasia.

This series features guests Angie Cauthorn (Brain Friends podcast) and — upcoming — Trish Hambridge (National Aphasia Synergy) and Avi Golden (aphasia and disability sports advocate). Other conversations will follow.

Check out our YouTube channel @UDAROLab.


"My stroke and my aphasia do not define me."

Meet our friend, Mr. Michael Hadley. Mike has aphasia and is a two-time stroke survivor. He served as a New York City law officer for 20 years, as well as an adult educator (including AARP drivers’ education and U.S. citizenship classes). Currently, Mr. Hadley is a Chef and Master Food Educator at the University of Delaware, a role he’s held since March, 2016.

Mike inspires others who have aphasia, and adapted the poem below to share with other stroke survivors. “My stroke and my aphasia do not define me. That means that it doesn’t have power over me. My T.A.G. (Talents, Abilities, and Gifts) have kept me going even after my stroke: persistence, mental strength, speaking to and connecting with people, music, and looking to a Higher Power. Who you are in life will define you from this point on!”

"Don't let yourself get discouraged"

WebMD magazine featured our friend, Ms. Mertro Robinson. Mert shares her experiences with stroke and aphasia, and how she has stayed motivated to keep getting better.