IOWA CITY, Iowa – "We have Kenny back."
With those four words, former Iowa basketball player Mike "Tree" Henry helped to illustrate the power of friendship, the power of the human spirit and what it means to be a Hawkeye for life.
Henry was referring to his former college teammate Kenny Arnold, who has battled serious health issues for three decades, ever since being diagnosed with a brain tumor in the mid-1980s.
Arnold has shown incredible courage and determination while dealing with his adversity. But he also has had plenty of support to help him get through the tough times as you’ll hear about during this podcast.
Arnold’s health and his mood had deteriorated last spring to where he barely could speak or get out of bed. His friends were concerned about his growing depression, but weren’t sure what to do.
That’s when Hawkeye fan Marty Gallagher became involved. He had read a story about Arnold’s situation that was published on allhawkeyes.com early last spring.
After learning that Arnold’s speech was severely impaired, Gallagher immediately took action because he knew he could help.
Gallagher is the co-founder of Talk To Me Technologies, which was established in 2006 and specializes in designing speech devices.
The following statement appears on the company’s home page on its website:
"We wanted to provide speech devices in a new way, but by using basic sense: our sales staff is comprised of Speech Language Pathologists who put their clinical expertise first and are led by the depth of their own knowledge and not by profit differentials from one device over another. Clients benefit from the simple notion of being matched with a speech device that works for them and not the other way around. Because of this, abandonment of the device is extremely rare, client satisfaction is high, healthcare expenses are minimized and we get to keep loving what we do."
Gallagher drove from his home in northwest Iowa to Chicago in order to fit Arnold with a speech device at no cost. Arnold was one of Gallagher’s heroes as a kid growing up in northeast Iowa. So it was a privilege for Gallagher to help Arnold improve his quality of life.
The first 30 minutes of the podcast features Henry and Gallagher both talking about how the speech device has impacted Arnold’s life in a positive.
We spend the second half of the podcast talking about the Iowa football’s team game against five-time defending FCS national champion North Dakota State on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
So we pack a lot into one hour. But this podcast is mostly a tribute to Kenny Arnold and to the Hawkeye spirit.