Ronnie Brannigan, Introductory Program Volunteer
When Ronnie Brannigan retired in 1993, she knew immediately that she wanted to become a part of the Aphasia Institute. “I wanted to give my time to something meaningful and I knew that I could make a difference at the Aphasia Institute.
Ronnie’s certainty came from her brief interaction with the Aphasia Institute more than 30 years ago when her husband had a stroke in his 40’s. It was then that Ronnie first learned about the Aphasia Institute.
Today, Ronnie is one of the longest-serving members of the volunteer team. She volunteers two days every week, working with the Introductory Program and in our Conversation Program. She says her greatest joy is being able to witness the change that happens through the Introductory Program. “At first, people are shy and withdrawn but by the third or fourth week, you see the group coming together to support each other, and you see confidence building in each member as they learn new skills.”
Providing support to spouses is particularly fulfilling for her. “Often this is the first time that they have the opportunity to meet others in the same situation. They can say whatever they want without fear of judgment and they can hear from others who have had similar experiences. Having lived it first-hand, I can appreciate what they go through.”