L to R: Dr. Noel Kavanagh, Emmet Costello, Trinity College Dublin/Research Motor Neurone completing his PhD in Neuropsychology and Pat O'Callaghan, Managing Director, Interchem (Ireland) Ltd
On the 24th June, 29 Interchem staff members completed a 300km virtual charity challenge. Individuals either walked, jogged or cycled over the course of 1 hour to complete the challenge, virtually from all corners of the country and some socially distancing from Interchems office in Dublin. Even though the team were apart, the team spirit was very strong, keeping in touch via WhatsApp. The Interchem team and Research Motor Neurone Charity have had a tremendous amount of support from customers, suppliers, family and friends, raising over €5,000 which Dr. Noel Kavanagh are very grateful for. Dr Noel Kavanagh., MVB, DPM, MAE, DECHPM, FRCVS. lives in County Meath with his wife Caroline. Noel is a retired vet and specialised in pig medicine. He was diagnosed with MND in December 2018. Noel qualified in veterinary medicine in 1969. Qualified as a specialist of the RCVS in 1984 and was appointed Chairman of the board of examiners in Pig Medicine of the RCVS. Awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) by thesis in 2002. He is a founding member of the European College of Porcine Health management, a practising member of the Academy of Experts and author of the textbook entitled “Maximizing Pig Herd Health, Management and Production Efficiency. Former owner of Oldcastle Laboratories, providing Analytical Laboratory Services in the areas of Animal Health, Food Safety, Animal Nutrition, Toxicology and Environment Control. Retired from his specialist Pig practice in 2012 which provided consultancy services to pig farmers, Pharmaceutical companies, and expert reports in relation to product liability claim investigations.
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"Following my MND diagnosis I was advised that I would lose the ability to speak I commenced banking my voice in January 2019 with ModelTalker. Voice banking involves recording a list of 1600 sentences on a computer. When sufficient recordings have been captured, software chops them up into individual sounds (phonetic units). A synthetic voice is then built out of these phonetic units. I banked my voice in English on ModelTalker and French on Cerevoice.
This was very important for me because a voice is a very personal thing and being able to keep this aspect of one’s individuality and identity is vital, I now use my iPhone or iPad for communication, so I’m not totally isolated. I type what I want to say into Predictable, which is the interface between the user and ModelTalker on my iPhone or iPad. Predictable then uses my ModelTalker voice to speak. I have WhatsApp and email groups so that I can keep in regular contact with friends. I use FaceTime, ZOOM and other video conference programmes for virtual meetings.
They work best if I have someone is with me so that we can more easily keep the flow of conversation going, otherwise there is a lag period whilst I am typing. I am fortunate that my wife Caroline supports me 24/7 and our daughters Kirsten and Naomi and husbands John and Mathew and grandchildren keep in constant contact by WhatsApp, Facetime and Zoom. "