In high school, Terrie was a pretty cheerleader who competed on the cheer circuit. Her father smoked, and with more and more of her friends smoking, Terrie soon found herself lighting up in social settings. Eventually she was smoking up to two packs a day.
In 2001, at the age of 40, Terrie was diagnosed with oral cancer, and later that same year, with throat cancer. Doctors informed her that they would need to remove her larynx. It was then that she quit smoking for good. Terrie spoke with the aid of an artificial voice box that was inserted in her throat. She continued to battle cancer with a strong, positive spirit. Terrie died September 16, 2013 from smoking-related cancer. She was 53.
Terrie had cancer as a result of smoking. In a 2012 Tips From Former Smokers TV commercial, Terrie showed us how she got ready for her day. In this video, Terrie shares that the only voice her grandson ever heard was an artificial one. He was born after doctors removed her larynx. Her tip to smokers is to "make a video or recording of yourself reading a children's storybook and singing a lullaby—before smoking affects your health."
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- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717