Aphasia Awareness Month: Renee’s Story

If you mention Renee Dixon’s name to any of the Magee staff who had the pleasure of working with her, you will instantly see a smile spread across that person’s face, inspired by the one that Renee sported every day she was a patient at Magee. While a patient on Magee’s NRC unit, Renee faced the many challenges of intense rehabilitation with determination and an endlessly positive attitude. After coming to Magee following a head injury, Renee quickly became involved in art therapy and enjoyed individual sessions and well as open art studio groups. One night in open art studio, Renee was inspired by another patient’s collage art, so she decided to create her own.

Renee, who experiences aphasia as a result of a stroke in 2004, worked with her speech language pathologist, Melissa Katz, to pick a theme for her collage and to

Renee’s “Positivity” collage

find the right words to speak to her experience. Renee’s theme, “Positivity,” came to life as she created this picture frame with her collage words over several art therapy sessions. Others who witnessed Renee working on her collage were inspired to make their own, and Renee was happy to have provided the inspiration. Renee wants to share her story so that others might understand the power of the creative process, particularly collage-making, in the effort to make one’s voice heard.

June is Aphasia Awareness Month. To learn more about Magee’s Aphasia Support Group, click here.

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