Kerry Kennedy’s Voice Disorder. Update About Health And Illness.

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Kerry Kennedy is an American human rights activist, lawyer, and author, who is the seventh child of Robert Francis Kennedy, RFK, and Ethel Kennedy. Kerry Kennedy is currently the president of the non-profit human rights activism agency called the “Robert F Kennedy Human Rights”. She is the younger sister of Robert F Kennedy Jr., who stood as an independent candidate in the US presidential election of 2024. 

Mary Kerry Kennedy was born in September 1959 in Washington DC and completed her graduation course from Brown University and The Putney School, after which she earned her Juris Doctor from the Boston College Law School. Kerry Kennedy has been working as a human rights advocate since 1981 and has led delegations to various nations such as Kenya, Haiti, El Salvador, South Korea, and Northern Ireland. She has also worked extensively on causes in countries such as India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Sudan. 

Along with being the president of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights since 1988, she is also the honorary president of the Robert F Kennedy Foundation Of Europe which is based out of Florence, Italy. Kennedy is also the executive director of the Robert F Kennedy Memorial till the year 1995.

She is actively engaged in a mission with the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Foundation in Spain dedicated to defending human rights and promoting education worldwide. She is also the distinguished chair of the Leadership Council of Amnesty International; her writings have been published on many eminent platforms such as The Chicago Sun-Times, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times. 

Kerry Kennedy is the recipient of the Medal for Social Activism which was awarded to her by the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Bogota, acknowledging her impactful endeavors on global communities in her “lifelong devotion to the pursuit of equal justice”.

Though she is known to harbor Democratic views as far as her political affiliation is concerned, Kennedy has always maintained a strong voice of neutrality in her work, contributions, and all that she has written about.

Kerry Kennedy’s Voice Disorder

Owing to her contributions to human rights advocacy, Kerry Kennedy has to travel extensively and make appearances at various talk shows and events delivering presentations and speeches. During one such appearance in recent times, the public seemed to have noticed something serious about her health, which caught them distraught and shaken. And invariably, they started talking about her supposedly serious health condition after they noticed that her style of talking had changed. 

Some members, of the audience she was addressing, wanted to believe that she was perhaps only performing certain tonal variations due to some normal discomfort. But many others did not seem to buy this explanation – they felt that there was some serious thing about the change in her way of talking and her voice.

As per the public, Kerry Kennedy supposedly is suffering from some kind of vocal distortions which was clearly understood during her presentation and speech in one of her latest appearances. As the rumors kept on circulating all over social media and the Internet, they were strengthened by older tweets about the voice changes of an eminent journalist.

Though there is no valid or verifiable data available to support any of these speculations or suspicions spread by the public, people have been prompt in weaving their theories about what might be possibly wrong with her health.

However, the truth lies elsewhere – for it is not Kerry Kennedy, but her brother Robert Kennedy Jr., who has been suffering from voice distortions. But it is not any recent news, for reports about Robert F Kennedy Jr., the older sibling of Kerry Kennedy, suffering from spasmodic dysphonia date back to 2008. News reports were saying that Robert Kennedy was suffering from lung cancer. However, later on, it was found out that his vocal changes were not due to lung cancer but spasmodic dysphonia.

What Is Spasmodic Dysphonia?

Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological disorder of the voice, in which the muscles present in the voice box or larynx are triggered to spasm involuntarily. Owing to these spasms, the voice tends to get interrupted, and the quality of voice is hampered, making the voice seem to crack up or sound strained and tight or whispery or as if running short of breath. In other words, spasmodic dysphonia, which is also known as laryngeal dystonia, causes involuntary spasms of the voice box muscles, leading to a shaky voice.

This rare speech disorder is not life-threatening, but can suddenly bring about changes in the voice quality – it can be chronic or long-term and is very rare, about 1 in 100,000 cases. According to medical researchers, this voice disorder might be caused due to an issue in the basal ganglia of our brain, which is responsible for coordinating muscle movements. This health condition might also be hereditary, or it might also begin after suffering from flu or catching a cold, or due to an injury of the voice box, or even due to the stressful use of voice.

Symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia might come and go instead of persisting continually, but there is no known cure for this condition as yet. However, speech or voice therapy or certain kinds of medications can be used for the treatment of this voice disorder.

Her Health Problems

As of now, it is not known whether Kerry Kennedy suffers from any known health problems – there are no reports or news available anywhere in support of this. However, she might be having some sleeping problems because when she was involved in a case of drugged driving back in 2012, the toxicology report released by the police found traces of the drug zolpidem in her blood sample drawn for the purpose.

Zolpidem is a chemical used in medications for the short-term treatment of sleep problems, it is strictly regulated and can only be prescribed by a registered healthcare practitioner. Kerry Kennedy was acquitted of her charges in this drugged-driving case in February 2014.

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