My name is Craig Campbell. I am 60 years old and was diagnosed with a rare speech disorder called Primary Progressive Aphasia. I previously held an executive position with Price Waterhouse Coopers. I spoke at conferences on a regular basis, and it was during one of my presentations that I noticed the first signs of my disease: I could not say the word ‘statistic’. From there, my speech went downhill. In early 2010, I saw a Neurologist who suspected I had Primary Progressive Aphasia. In an effort to find out more about my disease, I have met with several doctors in the United States, including the University of California at San Francisco, the Mayo Clinic and Northwestern University in Chicago. I retired from my work in 2011.
Since then, I have kept myself busy going on trips to various parts of the world 2-3 times per year. I enjoy staying in hostels and have an adventurous style of travel. I continue to volunteer and serve on several boards including my church, a water ski club, and with the federal elections. I stay socially active and meet up with friends 2-3 times per week. In the summer months, my family and I spend time at our cabin where I enjoy water skiing.
I was told that the number one recommendation for slowing down the effects of Primary Progressive Aphasia are regular exercise, so I make sure to exercise daily. In order to exercise my brain, I have trained myself to do things like shave and write with my right hand, even though I am naturally left handed.
I now have a lot of difficulty speaking. I continue to make an effort to speak, but rely mostly on writing messages on my Boogie board, and typing into the Predictable app on my iPad to communicate. CAYA has provided me with more Boogie boards when I need them and the Predictable app for my iPad. Without these tools, communicating would be much more difficult for me.