Roger Ebert recently blogged about “a two-year process that has now resulted with my coming into possession of a silicone prosthesis.” Ebert lost a portion of his jawbone after a battle with thyroid cancer, and he wrote that after surgery he avoided looking at himself in a mirror.
Dr. David J. Reisberg, a specialist in facial reconstruction in Chicago, created a prototype prosthesis that would fit over Ebert’s lower face and neck. Reisberg had help from a prosthetist and an artist.
Ebert wrote that it took a few tries to find the right material — two original models were too stiff — but a softer silicone one was wearable.
Ebert will wear the prosthesis on his new television show. He says it’s “not to fool anyone, because my appearance is widely known.” Rather it’s a reminder of the person he was before his illness.
He wrote, “Symbolically, it’s as if my illness never happened … When people see the ‘Roger’s Office’ segment, they’ll notice my voice more than my appearance.”