I was born in Schenectady, New York on May 1, 1950. My family moved to Cheshire, CT in 1957. I am the eldest of seven children.
I started smoking before my teens, stealing cigarettes from my parents and smoking with friends. The entire time growing up, I increased my cigarette intake until I was smoking at least three packs a day.
I have a son, Adam, born in 1977 and I am married to my wife, Lesley. I entered the manufacturing world at an early age. My father was an electrical engineer, and he recruited my brother and I to work with him for an International Steel Mill manufacturer.
We worked together at that facility for several years.
While the company was growing, I continued to chain smoke and drink, when it was "Miller time". We went from four people to over 200 in 35 years. I was manager of manufacturing for a dozen years and then spent the last 22 years as Vice President of Operations.
By the late 1990’s, my voice was hardly a whisper. As many of us, I was misdiagnosed and spent 6 months being treated for GERD. My wife, a nurse in New Haven, CT, referred me to her sister, also a nurse at Mass General. I received an appointment with the chief of Head and Neck surgery at Mass Eye and Ear. He scoped me and the monitor clearly showed T4 squamous cell carcinoma. I had a total Laryngectomy on March 20, 1998 with a right side radical neck dissection. In 3 to 4 days, I was proficient with a Servox, using the inter-oral device. I then under took 7 weeks of radiation in Boston, commuting every day from Connecticut or Cape Cod
I use Esophageal voicing with an EL backup. I was informed that our local University, SCSU, had a Department of Communication Disorders. I attended several semesters of perfecting esophageal speech, and working with student SLP’S. They helped me and I helped them.
For my 50thbirthday, my wife came up with the idea of starting the Robert and Lesley Lee Herbst Endowed Scholarship for young SLP’s. We have since given out 11 scholarships to Post Grad SLP’s at SCSU who maintained a high GPA and needed the funding to finish their SLP majors. I have spoken to many thousands of students about the dangers of smoking. I am a certified educational contractor in the State of Florida. I was asked to be in the film No Ifs ands or Butts with Kim Winter of the American Lung Association and a young man Brandon Carmichael from Fargo, ND who contracted Buergers Disease from smoking.
The film, "No Ifs ands or Butts" has been seen in thousands of American school systems in the last 8 or 9 years. I have done hundreds of pre and post hospital visits. I was honored to be chosen to carry the Torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I have been an IAL BOD member for 6 years, including time as Vice President. I am currently serving as President of the IAL since 2009. I am also the President of the Lost Cord Club of Greater New Haven and a member of 4 other clubs in Mass and Florida.
I was raised in North Carolina and have lived there for most of my life. I received a degree in Business Administration from Saint Andrews College. In my military service, I volunteered for the US Air Force and served in the Vietnam War. After an honorable discharge from the service, I worked in textiles as a dye house supervisor. I became a Manager, running dye houses and finishing plants for the next 25 years. With the downfall of USA textiles and throat cancer, I am now retired.
I am married to a wonderful lady, Katherine. We were blessed with 3 children after my cancer was discovered. I have 18-year-old twins (a boy and girl) and another 14-year-old son. I also have a grown daughter and two grand kids.
I am President of the Metrolina Laryngectomee Support Club. I do pre-op and post-op visits with new laryngectomees and their families and I have volunteered with American Cancer Society for "Relay for Life" for years. I travel throughout the state of NC to inform kids and adults about the dangers of tobacco, as a member of SAVE (Survivor and Victims of Tobacco Empowerment). I served as the president of NC GASP (North Carolina Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution) from 2002 to 2005. I have tried to bring truth, encouragement and myself as an example of life as a laryngectomee. I also enjoy playing golf, hunting and travel.
I have served on the IAL board as director, vice president and interim treasurer. It has been an enriching experience to serve the member clubs and the IAL. Many changes and renewed stability have marked the years of my service.
I was born in Chicago, IL in 1942 and graduated from Loyola University, Chicago, in1964 with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a major in accounting. I then workedfor a big eight CPA firm after graduating, moved to Southern California in 1966, and have been here since.
I spent 12 years as an Accounting Supervisor in a multi-national conglomerate incharge of monthly and annual preparation of financial statements as well as annualreports and other SEC financial reporting.
I then became self-employed as a tax preparer 1977. Started my own small practice in 1983 and have been at it since. I am an Enrolled Agent, licensed by the U.S. Treasury Dept. and prepare tax returns, as wellas represent clients before the IRS in audit, collection and appeal matters.
I'm a Fellow of the National Tax Practice Institute and also a member of the California and National Association of Enrolled Agents.I became a laryngectomee in 1995 and have been active in the Orange County Lost
Chord Club since then. I have been the Treasurer of this club for many years and have spoken to thousands of grammar and high school students over the course regarding the hazards and risks of smoking.
Hobbies include as much travel as time allows. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku aremy addictions these days, and I love to read as well. I also spend summers in my gardengrowing some of the best tomatoes in Orange County.
I was born and raised in Greenville, SC. In 1965 I graduated from The Garland School in Chester NJ. I attended Furman University one year and then enlisted and spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, serving in the Panama Canal Zone and at Phu Cat Air Base in Vietnam. After the service I returned to Furman University, and went on to receive my BA at The University of South Carolina.
After seventeen years in business in Greenville I moved to Marietta, GA in 1991, and was transferred to Jacksonville, FL in 1995. In December of 2001 I was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and was fortunate to have the tremendous care of the staff at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL where my lary surgery was performed in January of 2002. I attended the Voice Institute at The IAL Convention in Boston in 2005. I was first elected to the board in 2007 and in 2008 was appointed Treasurer.I now serve on the By-laws, Finance and the Ad Hock Membership Committees.
During most of my adult life I have been active in community and civic affairs. I have held various offices including President of my Lions Club, Sergeant at Arms of my American Legion Post, soccer coach, and Greenville Project Director for the Viet Nam Veterans Leadership Program.
I speak to local high school classes regarding the danger of smoking, and cancer awareness. Currently I am President of my Townhome Owners Association, and the Greater Greenville Lary Club. I am also active in my local political party.
I have one dog, six children, five grand children and seven grand dogs, and the numbers of grand chickens keep changing. Enjoy traveling, DIY projects around the house, visiting grand children, attending musical events, reading, gardening and life in general. I have recently become interested in the genealogy of my family.
I was born October 17, 1952 in Mason, MI. I married Valerie in 1980 and have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. We currently reside in Kalamazoo, MI.
I was laryngectomized in April 1995. I am a cancer survivor and a recovering alcoholic. I have been sober since 1981. I talk to schools, colleges, and universities about cancer from tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. I also talk to doctors and medical staff in hospitals, with a focus on the emergency department, about what to look for when a laryngectomy comes in.
I serve, volunteer, and support variouis organizations and groups, including the IAL. I am currently the President of Kalamazoo Speak Easy Club as well as the President of Truth About Tobacco (TAT). I have served on many boards for The American Cancer Society to my local neighborhood and I am still very involved in volunteering with my local ACS. I am a member of ACS Cancer Action Network and have traveled to Washington D.C. twice as an Ambassador. I also serve as Chair of Bronson Patient Family Advisory Council.
I am a Speech Language Pathologist at the Dallas VA Medical Center where I have worked for 20 years. Before that I was a clinical supervisor at the University of Texas at Dallas in the Speech Pathology graduate program for nine years. Early on, I was mentored by Jessie Hart (a long-time IAL BOD member) who facilitated my interest and commitment to the rehabilitation of Laryngectomees. With Jessie and a handful of Texas Lost Chord Club presidents from around Texas, I helped plan the first of 21 Texas Laryngectomee Association Annual meetings based on the Voice Institute and Annual Meeting of the IAL. For three days every year, laryngectomees and their families, Speech Pathologists and SLP graduate students (sometimes as many as 100), meet in rotating cities around Texas and learn how to overcome this catastrophic disability. I am dedicated to the rehabilitation of laryngectomees, proud of Texas and proud of the Texas Laryngectomee Association. I am honored to serve on the IAL Board of Directors.
I am married to Majella Best who was laryngectomized in February 1999. We have been married for 40 years and have two children, Trevor and Heather and they have given us four beautiful grandchildren Alyssa, Nolan, Kyle and Gavin.
We have attended the IAL for the past ten years, and have made many friends over the years.
I have made two presentations at IAL on Skype, and have help at elections counting ballots and other jobs as required. I have helped out with the auxiliary and spouse rap sessions.
I am 62 years old and retired; I was the Manager of Building and By-Law Enforcement for a small city, with 32 employees working for me. We spend ours summers at our cottage for five months, then back home in Oshawa, Ontario for a few months then off to Mexico for 8 to 10 weeks. I enjoy golfing, scuba diving, gardening, and of course my grandchildren.
My name is Rhodney Montague. I was born and raised on a farm in Knightdale, North Carolina. As a teenager, I drove a school bus for Wake County public schools. A year after graduation, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. I retired in 1997 after twenty years of service with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. My training and schooling was in Field Artillery and Motor Transport Maintenance. My duties comprised of Gun Chief, Color Guard, Motor Transport Maintenance Chief, Marine Recruiter NCOIC, Motor Transport Officer in Charge, Technical Adviser, Analyzed Maintenance Production, and Quality Control for Motor Transport Maintenance companies. My deployments consist of Germany, France, Cuba, and twice to Japan. My family had the opportunity to join me in Japan for three years and Hawaii for three years.
After retirement I was employed with Thomas Concrete for ten years as a diesel mechanic for heavy equipment. I was employed with Thomas Concrete until I was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2009—due to long time chemical exposure. After thirty-five treatment of radiation and two doses of chemo failed to kill the cancer, I had a total laryngectomy in February 2011. Presently, I do pre-op and post-op visits for new laryngectomee patients and their families.
My wife of thirty years Jacqueline and I live in Raleigh NC. We have three adult married children and three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. I have served on numerous ministries in my church. I was ordained deacon in 2007. My hobbies include fishing, working in my garden, and spending time with my family.
Susan Reeves, ME,CCC-SLP
Susan Reeves was born and raised in West Texas. She graduated from McCamey High School in 1973 and entered Texas Woman's University in the fall of 1973 and later transferred to Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. Susan received both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in speech pathology from SWTSU. She worked in Seminole and Midland, TX for one year each before moving to San Angelo and joining the team of professionals at West Texas Rehabilitation Center the summer of 1980. She also married her husband, Ben, that same summer and they have been married for 31 years. They also have raised 3 children together: Jamie, Blake, and Kari. Susan currently is the Owner/Director of Reeves Rehab Speech Therapy Center which opened in February 2012 in San Angelo, Texas. Her staff has a combined experience of over 50 years and they serve San Angelo and the surrounding communities. She previously was the Senior Clinical Director at WTRC for over 30 years. She had worked in all facets of WTRC throughout the years, including but not limited to: Day Camp Director for 17 years, Cleft Palate Clinic Coordinator, Pediatric Director as well as Speech Therapy Director before leaving there in the fall of 2011.
Susan first became acquainted with alaryngeal rehabilitation through the coordination of the Concho Valley Lost Chords Club in 1983. Her first IAL Voice Institute was in Seattle, Washington in 1988. She later would attend the Dallas Voice Institute and be mentored under Zilpha Bosone in 1989 and joined the IAL Voice Institute Staff in Cincinnati, OH in 1990 and lectured as a member of the VI for 8 years. During this same time frame, she was asked to join the IAL Board of Directors and served a two year term. Her mentors while on the Voice Institute were: director Bob Keith, Shirley Salmon, Jim Shanks, Zilpha Bosone, Mary Jane Renner, Lerman, Girlmore, and Staacks.
Susan continued to stay active in the alaryngeal field demonstrated by her development of the Mexico Voice Institute. She, along with Dr. Enrique Hulsz and speech pathologist Erika Carreno-Gomez, mirrored meetings seen through the IAL and assisted residents and club members in Mexico City establish a Voice Institute, which still continues on today. Susan served on this team for the first 6 years and then later for an additional 2 years. Susan and 4 other independent speech pathologists were asked to assist the International Rehabilitation of Laryngectomees team (IRL) for Cologne, Germany for week long training and sharing session so the two different groups could share ideas, differences and commonalities in the hopes of advancing ideas in alaryngeal treatment from the hospital to home.
Susan has been a key member of the Texas Laryngectomee Association and has served as a member of the planning committee since its development. She has been a member of the lecture and planning staff and still holds that post today. She has helped countless laryngectomees, students, and professionals in her career through the TLA and the IAL. Mrs. Reeves has authored two separate chapters in the alaryngeal field in her career, both for peers whom she had the privilege to work beside through the IAL Voice Institute. The first chapter can be found in For Clinicians by Clinicians, editors Salmon and Mount. The second can be found in the Head and Neck Cancer: Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Outcomes, editors Ward and Van As-Brooks. Mrs. Reeves is a member of the Texas Speech and Hearing Association and has lectured through this association on numerous occasions. She is and has been an active member of the American Speech and Hearing Association since 1978. She joined the IAL as the Executive Director in September 2008. In 2011, the board voted to change that position title to Administrative Manager, and Susan remains active in that role to this date.
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