Dr Itzhak Brook
Dr Itzhak Brook is a physician who specializes in Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University Washington DC and is a world expert in infections caused by anaerobic bacteria and head and neck infections. He has delivered numerous lectures all over the world and has done extensive research on respiratory tract infections and infections following exposure to ionizing radiation.
He is the author of six medical textbooks, 96 medical book chapters and numerous scientific publications. Dr Brook was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2006 and received radiation therapy. Two years later he had his larynx removed and currently speaks with a tracheoesophageal prosthesis.
Introduction by Brian Hill
When Rick first posted to our survivor/patient message board, I thought his posting had a typo in it .he said he was 19 years out from his oral cancer. I havn't met anyone (not that they aren't out there) that has been a survivor this long. When I communicated with him, I found that he was not some simple, caught early, stage one oral cancer survivor, but someone who had been through it all, the radiation, the rebuilding of the floor of his mouth with a pectoral flap the whole 9 yards. What impressed me the most, was his total lack of letting the issues he lives with now, get in the way of enjoying his life to the fullest. I asked him to write his story down for the site, because besides the amazing 19-year survivorship, it's a story about not only playing the hand that you are dealt, but doing it with grace and style. Nothing about his experience has stopped him in life, in becoming a mentor to young athletes, or as a foster parent.
Introduction by Brian Hill
I first met Larry on our OCF message board. Like many who visit us, his was a voice hidden behind the technology of emails and computer messaging boards. Another stranger without a face, speaking with uncertainty and questions. In his first posting he indicated that he had been biopsied for a lesion on his tongue which had come back positive for cancer. He had questions about what the process was going to be like ahead of him, and like most of us, he had a fear of what the future held. I answered his questions as best as my own experiences would allow. Through our emails with each other, I found Larry to be very articulate and able to communicate his feelings and ideas in a manner that was compelling to me, and to no little extent, I related to what he was feeling. Larry has offered to keep a running journal on our web site of his thoughts and experiences as he goes through the process now of having his treatment plan developed, and fighting his battle. I believe that whatever Larry posts to this ongoing journal, there will be insights, inspiration, and in the end, useful information for those who follow him in their own process. The foundation will not be editing his words, and with the exception of asking him not to mention his treating staff by name, we have put no limits on what he tells us all. His posts will come as he feels the urge, or perhaps later, when he has the strength to write. It is unusual to find someone who has the courage to share openly, not only their words of successes, but of their fears and uncertainties in a public forum. We're pleased that Larry chose us as a venue to share his experience with others.