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Meet the Maker: CranioRehab

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NFOSD Recipe Book

IDDSI Level 7


IDDSI Level 6

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Swallowing Against the Odds: My Journey with Dysphagia

By Danny Voyes

My name is Danny, and to say that I’ve had a long and complicated history with dysphagia is an understatement! This is my story:

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The Struggle to Swallow: Living with Unusual Dysphagia

By Mary Lin McNeill

As a child, I always knew that something was different about the way I ate. My mom would tell me stories of how, since birth, I would “chew” everything before swallowing, even liquids like milk. It was a habit that I couldn’t shake off. As I grew older, I had a hard time learning to swallow pills, and it wasn’t until I was 26 that I could finally do it. However, my dysphagia started worsening in 2020, and I found myself unable to swallow pills at all without choking or throwing them up immediately.

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NFOSD Michael Donovan Advocacy Award

Michael Donovan
Founding NFOSD Board Member
In Memoriam April 2018

Award Description:

This award is open to any individual impacted by or serving those with a swallowing disorder, including but not limited to: healthcare providers, persons with dysphagia, and their families. It is specifically targeted to swallowing disorder advocacy, activism, and volunteerism within a clinical or community setting.

Michael Donovan was an original founder of the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders and served as a board member from 2006 to 2018. He survived head and neck cancer for 23 years before passing away in April 2018. His love for and commitment to the Foundation brought family and friends together to provide hope and support to people worldwide living with a swallowing disorder. Michael’s optimism will always live on within the Foundation and this award is one way of honoring him for his never-ending engagement, volunteerism and advocacy for the swallowing disorder community. 


  • Applicant must submit the following through the Dysphagia Research Society webpage:
    • Application form
    • 1-page essay describing their swallowing disorder advocacy/volunteerism efforts and how these impact the community
    • Optional: Letter of support from another individual familiar with their efforts
      • Can be a family member, community member, colleague, etc.
  • Application can be submitted on behalf of another individual.
  • Applicant does *not* need to be a member of the DRS or NFOSD to apply for the award.
  • Applicant does *not* need to be present at the DRS Annual Meeting to receive the award.
  • Applicant does *not* need to be located in the United States.

Exclusionary Criteria

  • Currently serving on the Board of the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorder or the Dysphagia Research Society
  • Applicant has received the Michael Donovan Advocacy Award within the last 3 years

Monetary Value

$1,000 funded by the NFOSD + complimentary registration for the 2022 DRS Conference.

Application submission for 2022 Award by Friday, January 7, 2022.

Please email (not .com) if you have any questions.