Funny how things fall into place. Our amigo George Ellis opens a door and Hannah steps in. You see, George is the 2015 Habitat for Humanity Man of the Year. His volunteering as a member of a team building houses for those in need has not gone unnoticed. He’s a humble rock star for Habitat and richly deserving of the recognition.
The night when he received his award, the speaker for the ceremony was one Kevin Hancock. That’s right, the Kevin Hancock of Hancock Lumber with stores all over southern and central Maine as well as New Hampshire and a generous supporter of Habitat. And that night, George learned that Kevin Hancock has spasmodic dysphonia (SD), too.
Kevin’s journey in coming to grips with his SD took him to the reservations for Native Americans in South Dakota. He wrote a book, Not for Sale, about the experience.
Now back to George. George and his wife Donna bought Hannah a copy of Not for Sale. It sat on our shelf for the month of January as Hannah and I traveled to the coast of California to hike its bluffs and mountains.
Upon our return, Hannah checked the book out and found a reference to Connie Pike in the appendix. It turns out Connie has played a significant role in Kevin’s effectively dealing with his SD. You see Connie is a speech pathologist who herself has spasmodic dysphonia. (By the way, later Kevin generously met Hannah for coffee to answer her questions and share his experience with SD.)
Connie believed that there had to be alternatives to Botox injections, the preferred treatment of the medical community. By the way, Botox is injected into the neck of the SD patient with the hope and a prayer that it will give the patient a few weeks of relief from the voice disorder.
Hannah has tried Botox. First her voice got worse and never returned to normal for even a few weeks. She has tried hypno-therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, healing resonance, herbal and nutritional therapies, and a little speech therapy.
Intrigued, Hannah had me order Connie’s book, Free to Speak: Overcoming Spasmodic Dysphonia from Amazon…