“… ultimately, being a human, I just wanted to be healthy.”
The same week I started rehearsals at Cirque du Soleil to relaunch our show ‘Crystal’ post pandemic, I was diagnosed with a vagal paraganglioma on the right side of my neck.
Due to its location and nerves it was sitting on, the doctors told me about the high risk of vocal cord paralysis and of possibility of nerve damage into my shoulder from the surgery. Being a trapeze artist, those risks could have resulted in a career ender, but ultimately, being a human, I just wanted to be healthy.
With an amazing team of surgeons and doctors in Montreal, my surgery in May of 2022 was successful and the first thing I did was move my right arm. No damage. The vocal cord paralysis on the other hand has been a daily challenge but improving and adapting every day.
My voice is quieter and can’t project like it used to, I have to turn my head to the right when I eat to avoid choking and coughing, but overall, my body has adapted to the changes better than I imagined and I feel immense gratitude for what “Larry the Lump” has taught me.
In just 4 months post surgery (in contrast to the 6 months – 1 year the doctors estimated), I was back to the stage, swinging on my trapeze and performing with Cirque du Soleil. I wear my scar with pride as a reminder of my strength and love for life.