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Trike-A-Thon Success for Nazareth Clinic Helping Stroke Survivors

Published July 11, 2018

He rode his trike for three days, July 6-8, from Buffalo to Rochester along the Erie Canal, to raise more than $1500 for the Neurogenic Communication and Cognition Clinic or “NC3” at Nazareth College’s York Wellness and Rehabilitation Center (YWRI). Clinic client Doug Volland was joined by a group of Health and Human Services students and professors riding for the final day with him in the Trike-a-Thon.

“We went about 30 miles each day, but it was close to a 100-mile trek,” he says.

It was nine years ago that Volland’s wife, Jan, came home and found her husband on the floor. As a nurse, she recognized he was having a stroke. Volland was in a coma for three weeks and his wife was told he may not survive.

“The stroke affected both my speech and my walking, but when I get on my trike I feel great!”

Today, Volland is thriving in his new normal. The former mechanical engineer who once owned an engineering firm, ran marathons, participated in high-intensity boot camps, and rode 100 mile “centuries” on his bicycle, just finished his Trike-a-Thon. 

The NC3 Clinic is very near to his heart. He's always pushed himself in his therapies to get better and today he continues to work three times per week with students and professors at Nazareth’s YWRI for physical therapy, and speech therapy.

Part of the training for graduate students, the NC3 clinic provides speech, language and cognitive therapy to people who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurological diseases for free.

“Nazareth students and professors have helped me so much, I’ve come a long way. Everyone here is so excited to help me get stronger, I can’t describe it,” said Volland. “It’s so nice to come here, to see the excitement each week.”

When Heather Coles, manager of the NC3 clinic at Nazareth, met Volland in the fall of 2012, he could say very little, she said. He now says sentences.

“You help you, Doug. You are so highly motivated- you push yourself every session, and you may not realize it, but you teach the students each week as they help you,” said Coles. If you can’t do something on the first try, you say ‘hang on’, you try again, and you are teaching them patience and helping them learn different approaches.”

Volland takes his can-do attitude along for the ride with everything he does. He’s also loves to cook and even helped improve his speech by dictating his favorite recipes to a Nazareth speech pathology student, who typed blog posts for him. He had to name and categorize all of the ingredients, along with structuring the instructions using correct grammar and syntax.



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Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.