Nearly 21 years ago, Dennis Apple and his wife, Buelah, were thrust into a situation parents dread. Their son Denny had come down with mononucleosis. And as they recall, just before bed one night, Denny took his medicine and then talked about where he wanted to sleep.
At the time, Denny was 18; he had begun competing in triathlons near the family's home in Olathe, Kan., outside Kansas City.
In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.
Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.
Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"
[Audio updated 01/15/2012, 3pm] The day after Thanksgiving was StoryCorps National Day of Listening – a day when people across America took some time to interview someone special in their lives. One of those people was Deborah Wagner of Windsor, who interviewed her son Jordan.
Nathan Hoskins knew from an early age that he was gay. But when he was growing up in rural Kentucky, his mother took extreme steps to convince him otherwise.
"When I was in sixth grade, I had met a good friend and he wasn't interested in girls," Hoskins, who's now 33, tells his friend Sally Evans. "One day, he said, 'I have a Valentine's Day card for you.'"
"I asked him for it, and he said it was so special that he mailed it," he says. "And he didn't know he'd done a very terrible thing because at my house only one person got the mail — and that was my mother."
The day after Thanksgiving was StoryCorps National Day of Listening – a day when people across America took some time to interview someone special in their lives. One of those people was Dana Barclay, who interviewed her friend Sarah Paige Ryan. She spoke about some things in life she does not regret...