Shine (Promotional Video, The Aphasia Institute)

How It All Came About

Shortly before the Aphasia Institute’s performance of the stage musical Mamma Mia! the lights went out. Yet the performers—all of them with aphasia—went bravely ahead anyway. In the quiet and the dark, the voice of the opening soloist wafted across the room like a whisper that transformed into something more. In those captivating minutes, the sound became that of every soul standing to be heard, though uncertain, and though the eyes and ears of the world might seem dim. When the lights returned a few minutes into the performance, it was to thunderous applause. It was a wonderfully captured moment in metaphor—that the beauty of the human spirit is not only its ability to shine beyond perceived limitation but in its ability to see and applaud such moments. Indeed, in such gifted chances for awakening, we win as seekers of our true selves, as so movingly sung by the closing soloist and the line, “The winner takes it all.”

I hadn’t attended the performance with the idea of producing a video in support of the Aphasia Institute. I’m simple gone to watch a family member in the chorus. Yet by the time the cast took its final bow, I knew I’d witnessed something special and was inspired to take the collection of still images and video I’d shot and script some into a video as my small effort to lend awareness to aphasia and perhaps draw support for the institute. Afterward, I sent the video to both family and the Aphasia Institute to see whether they’d consent to allowing the video to be uploaded, and I was honored when all agreed.

I’m so grateful that I was afforded a seat in the audience that day. I’m so proud of the work being done by the Aphasia Institute, and each time I watch the closing performance of the video, I’m deeply moved by what it really means to shine.

Thank you to those who choose to share the video in support of the Aphasia Institute.

For more information or to make a donation, visit or email

Royalty-free soundtrack music “ManifestMastered” from Freeplay and adheres to all usage guidelines. Narration scripted and recorded by Xristopher Bland for ABM Creative Services.


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