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Last Modified Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Famous People Reported to Have Meniere's Disease
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  • Ryan Adams, musician, singer, songwriter, author.
  • David Alstead, pianist, composer.
  • Steven Barrie-Anthony, journalist.
    • Article, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2005, health section.  The print edition has the best graphic illustrating the location and relationship of endolymph and perilymph that we've ever seen (kudos to the L.A. Times artist, Paul Rodriguez).  (Disclosure:  the MDIC was a source for the graphic.)  Unfortunately, the graphic is not available online. 
  • Zac Bierk, professional hockey player.
  • Dan Carlson, journalist.
    • Editorial by Dan Carlson, Black Hills (S.D.) Pioneer, February 10, 2007.  Carlson describes his relapse -- with a vengeance -- after many years of temporary spontaneous remission.  Credit Carlson with candor -- he admits what so many of us feel:  he is scared.
  • Judy Carrow, disaster volunteer.
    • Carrow helped reunite Hurricane Katrina victims using her home computer out of Topeka.  Article, WIBW-TV, September 10, 2005.
  • Carrie Carter, M.D.
    • According to her website, Dr. Carter is mostly homebound and often wheelchairbound due to symptoms of Meniere's Disease.
  • Kristen Chenoweth, singer, actress.
    • Chenoweth writes of her Meniere's Disease in her memoir,  A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, as reviewed in Publishers Weekly (scroll down).
  • David Copithorne, publisher of HearingMojo.com.
  • Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, Maryknoll priest and 2008 President of the United Nations General Assembly.
    • See article in the November 17, 2008, print edition of The Nation, published on The Nation's website on October 29, 2008, here.
  • Dana Davis, author.
  • Emily Dickinson, poet.
    • Rowena Silver authored an article titled, "A Plank in Reason -- A Retrospective Diagnosis of Emily Dickinson," which offers evidence that Emily Dickinson suffered from Meniere's Disease, and which was published in "The Disability Rag and Resource" (now "Ragged Edge Magazine) (P.O. Box 143, Lexington, KY 40201), May/June 1996, Vol. 17, No. 3. Avocado Press.
  • Brian Evans, university administrator.
    • Brian Evans, Meniere's Disease patient and Brigham Young University Chief Financial Officer, adds duties of Administrative Vice President.  Evans was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease three years ago and has lost most of the hearing in one ear.
    • Article, BYUNewsNet, May 16, 2006.
  • Patrick Flores, Archbishop of San Antonio.
    • Article, San Antonio Express-News, October 12, 2004.
    • Update:  Now retired, Archbishop Flores is suffering from worsening Meniere's Disease symptoms; he is to see a specialist in Nashville.  Article, WOAI-TV, September 10, 2005.
  • Steve Francis, professional basketball player
  • Nancy Freudenthal, First Lady of the State of Wyoming.
    • Article, Casper Star-Tribune, May 5, 2005.  Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal says his wife, Nancy, had surgery for Meniere's Disease.
    • Article, Billings Gazette, April 22, 2005, referring to inner ear disorder.
    • Speech (.pdf), October 18, 2004, Lynn Boomgaarden, naming Meniere's Disease.
  • Stan Gallimore, drummer. 
    • Now with the band Feeler; formerly with the band Grifters.  Article, The Memphis Flyer, June 24, 2005.
  • Peggy Goldwater, wife of Senator Barry Goldwater.
  • Kuriyama Hideki, newscaster, professional baseball player.
  • Waldo Jacquith, blogger.
  • Shawnae Jebbia, television and film personality, and Miss USA 1998.
  • Andrew Knight, screenwriter.
  • Katie Leclerc, actress, "Switched at Birth" television series premiering on ABC June 6, 2011.
    • Article, May 6, 2011, Zap2It.com (entertainment website).
  • Peggy Lee, singer.
  • Martin Luther, religionist.
  • Meg MacDonald, television journalist.
    • MacDonald was an anchor on WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., and later worked on the "American Journal" television newsmagazine.  She was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease in 1993 and later lost all of her hearing.  She now has a cochlear implant and is a Master Gardener for the University of Delaware.  Article, Charlotte Observer, June 4, 2007.
    • Update:  Meg renovates her home to accommodate her Meniere's Disease.  Article, Wilmington (Del.) News-Journal, March 15, 2009.
  • Lisa McDonald, former Minneapolis city council representative and former Minneapolis mayoral candidate.
    • Article, Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages.
  • Joanna Miranda, Honolulu mother of two daughters. 
    • WARNING:  This is a disturbing report.  To continue reading (at the bottom of this page), click here.
  • Jane Nichols, chancellor, University of Nevada. 
    • Nichols resigned due to health reasons because of Meniere's Disease.
    • Update:  Jane Nichols returns to the University of Nevada as interim vice chancellor for one year.
      • Article, KRNV-TV, August 15, 2005.
      • Article, KESQ-TV, August 16, 2005.
      • Article, KRNV-TV, August 16, 2005.
      • Article, The (UNLV) Rebel Yell, August 22, 2005
  • Daniel Pancy, photographer.
  • Les Paul, guitarist and father of the electric guitar.
    • AARP Magazine, May-June 2003.
    • The Daily Mirror, L.A. Times blog, August 13, 2009 (on the occasion of Les Paul's death), reprinting an article dated November 24, 1991.  "Since 1980, he has undergone quintuple bypass surgery and several operations for Meniere's syndrome, a vertigo-inducing ear disorder."
  • Chris Potter, musician.
    • Article, San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2006.
    • Article, Emusic.com.  Subsequent to a diagnosis of Meniere's Disease, Potter made a CD entitled "Vertigo."
    • Article, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 28, 2010.
  • Ken Ramsey, sheriff, Kane County, Illinois.
    • Article, (Chicago Area) Daily Herald.
    • Article, (Chicago Area) Daily Herald.
    • Article, (Chicago Area) Daily Herald.
    • Article, (Chicago Area) Daily Herald, October 17, 2006.  Ramsey retires to take on a new job.
  • Mike Reilly, Major League Baseball umpire.
    • Reilly stays in the game after complex and invasive surgery that leaves him deaf in one ear but which "restored balance."  Article, Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer, October 25, 2005.
  • Aaron Reiser, artist and multimedia designer.
  • Mattias Ritola, professional hockey player.
    • Article, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, December 12, 2010.
    • Article, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, September 13, 2011:  Meniere's Disease diagnosis questioned.
  • Edeltraut L. Scheffler Plath, poet.
  • Alan Shepard, astronaut. U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard had Meniere's Disease, but recovered well enough after endolymphatic sac shunt surgery to fly into space.
  • Patty Spitler, broadcast journalist, now retired. 
    • Spitler was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease in 1987 and left her position at Indianapolis WISH-TV in December 2004, citing hearing impairment as the reason. 
    • Article, The Indianapolis Star.
    • Article, WISH-TV.
    • Patty's farewell message, WISH-TV.  (Disclosure:  the MDIC is linked in this article.)
    • Patty on March 25, 2010:  Raising funds for a hearing cause and rescuing animals article.
  • Mandy Stefanczak, fitness competitor.  Diagnosed at age 15.
  • B.J. Stelter, Principal of Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Florida, is retiring due to Meniere's Disease. 
    • She struggles "with hearing that comes and goes. Her balance is off. She says there are days when she staggers through the hallways, appearing tipsy."  The local homeowners association created a scholarship in her name.  Article, Brandon (Florida) Times, December 9, 2005.
  • Elizabeth Anne Steward, community serviceperson and Meniere's Disease advocate.
  • Jonathan Swift, author.
    • Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels" and "A Modest Proposal," suffered wracking dizziness and deafness from Meniere's Disease, in Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, "Diary," according to reviewer Sam Jemielity, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times.  Also see this biography.
    • There is much more about Swift and Meniere's on the Web, via Google.
  • Randy Thurman, multitalented artist, guitarist, poet, and writer.  Added January 30, 2007.
    • Visit Thurman's profile/biography at Phil Brodie's Band site here.
      • According to this article, Thurman was housebound by Meniere's Disease for five years, which then went into remission.
    • Visit Thurman's website to see examples of his artistic works.
    • Thurman is featured at the Monkdogz Urban Art Gallery here.
  • Vincent Van Gogh, artist.  
    • Medical researchers have concluded in an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that Van Gogh suffered from Meniere's Disease and not epilepsy.
  • Kyle Walpole, climber.
  • Kane "Kizzy" Waselenchuk, champion racquetball player.
    • Article, Dallas Morning News, April 27, 2005.
  • Chalkie White, rugby player and coach.
  • Joni Woelfel, author.  Website:  A Place of Light.  Click here to search Google.
    • Article, National Catholic Reporter, June 17, 2005.
    • Joni's book, Tall in Spirit:  Meditations for the Chronically Ill, reflects her experiences with Meniere's Disease.
    • Joni has also written a book for survivors of suicide and other books.  Here is a link to her works.
    • Update March 12, 2007:
      • Joni has a new book in progress, "Illness Speaks:  Meditations for the Chronically Ill."  Read about it at her website here.
      • Joni has a free movie based upon her "Tall in Spirit" book available at her website here and here.  The movie was a gift to her from her friend Gary Frye.
      • Joni has a new book that will be published in 2008, "Block by Block, A 90 Day Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss."  Read about it at her website here.
    • Update April 18, 2012:  Joni has published her first novel, "Divine Adventures of Simon Templegate."  Read about it here and here.
    • Update April 23, 2013:  An article by Joni appeared in National Catholic Reporter here.

WARNING:  The following information is disturbing.

  • Joanna Miranda, Honolulu mother of two daughters.
    • According to Honolulu media reports, Miranda killed herself and her two daughters in the morning of March 22, 2004, leaving a suicide note.  All three died from smoke inhalation from a fire in their house.  Miranda's husband, Wendell Miranda, said, through a longtime family friend, "If anyone in your family is affected by [Meniere's Disease], please be with them, please have the patience, please have the love."  The general implication in the media seems to be that Miranda killed herself and her two daughters as a result of depression due to Meniere's Disease, which may or may not be fair, but we haven't seen any reported evidence that directly supports that implication.  As far as we know, the contents of the suicide note have not been published.  This story received a lot of media attention March 24 and 25, 2004, but we haven't seen any further results of the investigation since then.  (Disclosure:  the MDIC is quoted in some of the articles.)
    • Article, KITV-TV, March 24-25, 2004.
    • Article, Honolulu StarBulletin, March 25, 2004.
    • Article, Honolulu Advertiser, March 25, 2004.
    • Article, Honolulu StarBulletin, March 24, 2004.
    • Article, Honolulu Advertiser, March 24, 2004.

Copyright © 1997-2014 Meniere's Disease Information Center.  All rights are reserved.
All copying, including (but not limited to) websites, bulletin boards, forums, and blogs, is prohibited.
Click here for more copyright information.