After voice struggles, Google founder Larry Page funds research at Boston’s Voice Health Institute

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Speculation about Larry Page’s lack of regular public appearances has swirled for years, but in a post yesterday he explained why — and how he’s funding the fight against vocal cord paralysis.

“About 14 years ago, I got a bad cold, and my voice became hoarse. At the time I didn’t think much about it. But my voice never fully recovered. So I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis,” wrote Page, who founded Google with Sergey Brin.

Last summer, the same condition struck again — a cold, followed by vocal cord paralysis. Page wrote that no cause was found, although he was able to speak well enough at home and work.

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“Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully,” he wrote. “So surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky.”

The affliction has also been lucky for Boston’s Voice Health Institute.

“In seeing different specialists, I met one doctor — Dr. Steven Zeitels from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Voice Center — who is really excited about the potential to improve vocal cord nerve function,” Page wrote. “So I’ve arranged to fund a significant research program through the Voice Health Institute, which he will lead.”

A non-profit, VHI has funded research programs at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MIT, and more, and Page is not the institute’s first high-profile benefactor.

Local legend and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler serves on the institute’s advisory board, as do Dick Vitale, Lionel Richie, and Christina Perri, who recented tweeted out an award from the institute:

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