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Getting his voice back -- St. Joseph Hospital helps local physician’s assistant survive larynx cancer

Retired physician’s assistant Bob Cory, pictured in front of his free health coaching business, got his voice back thanks to successful cancer treatment at St. Joseph Hospital. (Photo courtesy of Senior News)Retired physician’s assistant Bob Cory is the first one to admit he likes to talk. The Ferndale resident spent 35 years seeing thousands of patients in Humboldt County.

Always the one treating illnesses, Cory never thought he’d be on the other side, as a patient. Diagnosed with larynx cancer at the age of 74, Cory temporarily lost his most important asset – his voice. St. Joseph Hospital helped him get it back.

After undergoing surgery to remove the tumor on his vocal cord, Cory received treatment at the radiation oncology department at St. Joseph Hospital. "I had great treatment. As soon as I started receiving radiation, I got my energy back and I even began training for a mini-marathon," Cory said. Though his voice had always been a bit hoarse, Cory could also now talk again. "My voice is the best it has been in 10 years."

Coming from years of working in medicine, Cory’s cancer diagnosis never scared him, but it did change his life. The father of six children and numerous grandchildren, Cory credits his wife for getting him through his treatment. "Getting cancer is like having an earthquake, nothing is the same afterwards," he said.

Now out of treatment and retirement, Cory felt inspired to help others. He recently started his own health coaching service in Eureka, free of charge to the entire community. Ultimately, he is grateful to his family and St. Joseph Hospital for helping him get back his voice and quality of life.

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