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Cirque du Soleil star battles shoulder injuries, addiction

3/6/2013, 11:42 a.m.
High-flying acrobats. Death-defying leaps. Bright lights and performance tents filled with adoring fans. It's the stuff of which dreams are ...
Former drug addict becomes Cirque star

But will these efforts pay off? Will the plan work?

"I think every patient is unique," Spektor says. "But I think Joe has an incredibly good psychological framework going on. He's got a psychologist that's definitely on board with him, he's got a group of friends that are on board with him. He's got NA and AA meetings that he goes to, and we have a medical framework that's here for him."

"With that combination, I think the likelihood of success is pretty good, but none of us known for sure."

Today marks the first day of the rest of Joe's life. He's dropping into a new type of circus, possibly as you read this. Today he rolls into the OR for the first of his two surgeries.

"I'm fearful; I'm scared; I don't know what's going to happen. I'm jumping into a freezing cold pool, and I don't know how I'm gonna react," he said days before the surgery.

"I can tell you what I'm going to do, how I'm going to think -- all of it's untrue, because I won't know until I'm there. When you're met with pain, only then you'll know how you'll react to it."