NC State student organizes event to benefit brain health after grandfather’s struggle

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina State University junior Charlotte Fullbright remembers her grandfather for his smile and his optimism, despite a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and struggling to speak.

“He really had limited speech and limited mobility my entire life, but he was still one of the most inspirational, kind, positive people I’ve ever met,” she recalls.

Fullbright knows struggling with aphasia, a communication disorder that affects the use of language, made life difficult for him.

“You could definitely tell that it was frustrating. I can only imagine trying to order food at a restaurant or communicating with someone that you have just met,” she said. “But it was truly remarkable the way that he was able to kind of put that behind him and just have a positive outlook every single day.”

Her grandfather’s experience led Fullbright to get involved with the Triangle Aphasia Project, which helps people who are impacted. Several years ago, she organized the first Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands to raise awareness of neurological health, provide resources, and to support the nonprofit, all while showcasing live music.

Music and brain health can go hand in hand, she said.

“Music therapy can help in a lot of different cases for neurological disorders,” Fullbright explained. “Some people with aphasia have found that they can even sing more easily than they can speak.”

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She hopes this year’s event at N.C. State will be bigger and better than ever. Although her grandfather passed away a few years ago, Fullbright knows the event would make him proud.

“He would be really excited that this event was at N.C. State,” she said. “He went to N.C. State and both my parents went to N.C. State and now me and my brother. So it’s definitely close to our hearts.”

Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands takes place Saturday, April 13 at Stafford Commons outside the Talley Student Union at N.C. State. The event is free. For more information, click here.

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