A Voiceless Message: Throat Cancer Survivor Itzhak Brook Speaks

Can you be articulate and have no voice?  The answer is YES. Today, I met Itzhak Brook.  He is a survivor of throat cancer and required a full laryngectomy.  Despite having no voice box, he produced an articulate whisper amplified by an excellent mike system.  He spoke at the David Nasto Oral Cancer Awareness Walk. One message he imparted was the importance of seeing an ENT subspecialist.  He saw colleagues whom he trusted for three surgeries until he finally went into NYC to see a subspecialist, recognizing quickly the vast difference in expertise.  Even though he wasn’t sure he wanted to live life without a voice, he kept going because he didn’t want to leave a legacy to his children of  quitting in the face of adversity.

I learned something new, too.  I asked him if he could go swimming.  He can dunk up to his chest, but no higher unless he has a Larchel, which rhymes with snorkel intentionally because it’s a snorkel for laryngectomees.

His wife Joyce is a special person too, and I was honored to meet them both.

By | 2016-10-14T15:18:18+00:00 September 22nd, 2012|Oral Health, Survivorship|1 Comment

About the Author:

Eva Grayzel, a nationally recognized Master Storyteller and performance artist, was diagnosed at age 33 with stage IV oral cancer and given a 15% chance of survival. After regaining her deep vibrant voice, Eva applied her stage skills to communicate the depth of her experience in a unique and powerful way. For over a decade, Eva has captivated dental professionals worldwide using her story as a catalyst for change. She performed ‘Tongue-Tied’ Off-Broadway in New York City to a sold-out audience. A champion for early detection, Eva founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign, for which she was recognized by the American Academy of Oral Medicine. She is the author of ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek’ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter.’ In 2017, she created ‘My Story Legacy,’ a creative format to document family stories, life values and wisdom for future generations.

One Comment

  1. Lynn Schey January 5, 2014 at 1:49 am - Reply

    2 years ago, my son, had a total laryngetomy due to cancer. He was 20 years of age.. You will know how traumatic and incredibly hard this period of our life has been. He was a keen swimmer prior to his operation and I’m wondering where we may buy a Larchel snorkel. We live in Australia. I appreciate your advice.
    Kind regards
    Lynn SCHEY

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