Rev. Joel Elowsky, Ph.D.
October 24, 2009
Dear Doctor Cooper,
I hope this letter finds you well. Enclosed, please find a tape of a sermon I gave recently at a small church in North Jersey. I have been preaching now for the past year and have also been able to present major papers at conferences here and in Brazil and Africa—something I would not have dreamed of doing only a couple of years ago. I’m grateful for your help back in January of 2005 when I met with you and our small group those 2 weeks. Its taken me awhile—Ph.D’s are slow learners, I guess—but I finally feel like I can talk in public in most situations.
Today lies in stark contrast to the fall of 2004 when I avoided phone calls, answering machines, talking to anyone and felt pretty much cut off from everyone else in my world. People would cringe when they heard me talk or ask me to repeat myself countless times. Voice recognition technology was the bain of my existence—I simply hung up, knowing I would be asked again and again for the same information. Doctors weren’t much more help. After being diagnosed with a variety of conditions, I finally contacted Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York was told by the Head of the Voice Department, Peak Woo, that I should look for another line of work because I would never be able to talk again. After getting on the wrong train to come home, I thought about my future, but declined his suggestion of Botox injections because it was only a palliative treatment, not a cure. Not long after, I sought you out. And while the process was not “overnight” it did bring results. While I don’t know if I will ever consider myself fully “cured”—I’m probably the only who thinks this way, since everyone else who meets me tells me they would never have guessed there was even a problem. In fact, many comment on what a great voice I have.
My current position at a new University, Eastern University in St. Davids, PA calls for public speaking, so I can’t get around it. But I don’t feel its something I need to “get around” anymore. While over the past few years I’ve immersed myself in writing, having published three books in my field and directed an extensive research project to successful completion, I’ve always felt that I had more I could offer, if I could only vocalize it. You’ve enabled that vocalization to occur. Thank you.
Please feel free to use this testimony along with the tape I’ve included, if it will help others overcome this isolating malady known as SD. I surrender my confidentiality and other rights to privacy in this regard.
God’s blessings and peace be upon you,
Rev. Joel Elowsky, Ph.D.