Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aphasia group a finalist in fund competition

Good Things Happening


At age 52, Johan de Roos was a picture of health last year: no high blood pressure, no signs of heart disease and a comfortable cholesterol level.

Then came a stroke and what followed was a diagnosis of aphasia, a disease neither he nor his wife, Susan, knew much about.

Aphasia, they learned, is caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. It damages the ability to speak and understand others, and causes difficulty with reading, writing and numbers.

The Evendale couple started an Aphasia Support Center project that has been selected as one of three from Cincinnati to make the top 50 list of the American Express Members Project, putting it in line for several million dollars.

Other local projects in the top 50 list: 50,000 Families up From Poverty and Children's Safe Drinking Water.

Susan de Roos said for years people with aphasia were given little hope for improvement beyond the first three months.

"Now we know that with continued therapy, improvement is possible," said Susan de Roos, a retired manager at General Electric, Evendale.

She said the Aphasia Support Center would provide group therapy, group activities, computer aided therapy, caregiver support and community outreach.

The 50,000 Families up From Poverty group aims to provide water to communities in India, Africa and other impoverished areas worldwide by drilling tube wells wherever needed.

The Children's Safe Drinking Water project aims to address this issue through an innovative and low-cost technology that effectively purifies and cleans water while removing bacteria, viruses and parasites.

American Express sponsors the program. Card members and the Members Project Advisory panel selected the final 50 projects from 7,000 ideas submitted.

Ideas included community-based projects throughout the United States and international aid projects in Africa and Asia.

In the next phase, cardholders will register and vote for a favorite project.

"We are encouraging all card members to make their voices heard by voting for the idea they want American Express to make a reality," said Jud Linville, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Consumer Business at American Express. "The power is in their hands."

To vote, log on to Card members can register to vote through Aug. 5.


Two local couples have joined 12 other couples, individuals and organizations in the United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Million Dollar Roundtable.

They are Stanley M. Chesley and his wife, Susan J. Dlott; and Jack Gluckman and his wife, Victoria Buyniski Gluckman.

Chesley, an attorney, is president of Waite, Schneider, Bayless and Chesley. His wife, Susan, is a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

Jack Gluckman is professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, at the University of Cincinnati.

Victoria Gluckman is founder and CEO of United Medical Resources Inc.