Summary of article in Billed Bladet #41, 2010.
Mary hjalp Kevin med at tale - Mary aided Kevin in talking.
Written by Ken Richter. (And from him we can expect a correct account of what went on).
While Frederik was in Grenå, inaugurating the new carillon in the main church there, (Sankt Gertruds Kirke) named in honor of his grandmother (mormor) Queen Ingrid. (*)
Mary went to the Speech Institute in Aalborg, about an hour and a half away.
Here she was recieved by the flowerman in the shape of 74 year old Bent Bak-Pedersen. He suffered a stroke four years ago and he has used singing to retrain himself and two years ago he sang for Mary.
He wasn't the only one to greet Mary. While saying hello to some of the onlookers, Mary got a spontanous hug from 48 year old Annette Nielsen, who aid: "Congratulations with the twins" and presented Mary with yet another bouquet, fresh from the local Brugs. (**)
Anyway, inside the institute Mary met a number of people who have suffered a stroke and now suffer from aphasia. I.e. Inabillity to speak, comprehend and write.
One of them was 37 year old Kenny Wulff, who had a stroke three years ago and he is now retraining at the institute. Mary sat next to him as a sort of sparring partner during one of his lessons.
He said afterwards: "She was really good at helping when there was a word I couldn't pronounce or remember. The Crown Princess told me that it reminded her of when she had to learn Danish".
The Danish Stroke Association is launching a campaing over the next three year called: "Give time". The purpose is to put awareness on aphasia and also to encourage people who encounter persons wearing a "Give time" badge, to show patience and understanding.
Mary said: "Talking and writing is matter of course for all of us, but if we lose the language, we lose a bit of ourselves. During a hectic daily life it can be difficult to be patient, but everyone should understand that the handicap needs time. It's hard work to rebuild your skills for communication and as such we have chosen to call the campaign: Give time".
As to whether she can better understand the situation of people suffering from aphasia, she said: "I've been thinking a lot about whether I was in that situation and I wasn't. I had my English language to fall back on, in contrast to aphasia sufferes. They have to start all over again. But I remember how frustrationg it was, when I couldn't explain myself in danish. Now I often have to remind myself about taking time, so that I pronounce the words correctly".
(*) Grenå, located on the eastern most tip of Eastern Jutland, is in many ways a typical medium sized town. If you stand by the church mentioned in the article, close your eyes and walk for ten-fifteen minuttes in any direction, then open your eyes, you'll find yourself in the middle of a field.
Grenå is unique in many ways however. The harbour is not located next to the town. The, repeat the, hotdog stand is not located in the town. - And it close at 18.00 - in the middle of the tourist season.
In the evening the local youths congregate at the railway station, because perhaps someone will actually get off the train.
I just love to make fun of Grenå.
(**) Better known as Brugsen. For many years it was the
supermarket in many, if not most, villages in Denmark and as such a lot of the local activity, not least that of housewives, centered around Brugsen. This is where local news were circulated and there is still an expression: "They say so down at Brugsen", which is used to jokingly emphasize that a piece of gossip must be true. (Alternatively: købmanden = the grocer).