January 29, 2021
All seemed perfect to first-time parents, Greg and Rebecca. They were living in California and enjoying time spent with their new baby girl – me, Amanda. By the time I was 3, my mother became worried about my speech delay. To comfort my mother, family members and our pediatrician tried to convince her that I would catch up on my own. However, a speech pathologist recognized the problem and identified that I required early intervention. My mother became the ultimate advocate and very quickly received the diagnosis of receptive aphasia. Simply put, my ears were submerged with fluid and I could not hear; the sound was muffled resulting in my inability to process words or speak.
My parents enrolled me in a school very similar to Gateway School at HASA where I received intensive instruction and intervention with comprehensive speech and language therapy. As part of my therapy, I would recite poems for the parents, faculty, and staff. The services I received were more than technical; through them, I learned self-confidence.
Looking back, it is hard to imagine that at 3 years old I could not speak. Today, I live in Maryland with my husband and four children. I am Senior Vice President at SunTrust now Truist and serve as Treasurer on the HASA Board of Directors. There is no trace of the little girl without a voice. Today I use my voice to advocate for those who require the services that I benefitted from as a child. This is why I am writing to you to ask you for your help.
The mission of HASA is near and dear to my heart because HASA provides the vital speech and language intervention, education, and treatment to help every child and adult meet his or her greatest potential in life. I was able to thrive because of the persistent advocacy of my parents, the dedication and guidance of my teachers, and the treatment and patience of my speech-language pathologist and therapists.
It is my hope that you will join me in supporting the critical work and mission of HASA by making a gift today at hasa.org/donate. Every dollar makes a difference, and your gift will help families access the vital treatment, education, and care that they so desperately need.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Board of Directors