Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hearts for Hearing Groundbreaking Ceremony

Hearts for Hearing has been working on a capital campaign to build a new building of their own with plenty of space and sound booths for their continued growth.  I'm so glad we were able to make it to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building. Hearts for Hearing​ has been such a part of our lives for over six years... from the beginning evaluation soon after her diagnosis of profound deafness for Taylor in 2009, and the cochlear implant surgery only 10 days later, followed by weekly therapy visits for two years.  Then to our Lauren's birth and deaf diagnosis at 6 days old, when they said it was okay if we cried, they have been there through it all for us.  All of the worries, the fears, and the successes.  The ear molds for the hearing aids, the CI activations, the failed mappings with a stubborn toddler... I have no doubt that our lives and the girls' successes could have been much different if we had not gone to Hearts for Hearing early on after Taylor's diagnosis at 12 months and continued going there.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, we saw so many key people that have helped the girls along the way.  Dr. Wood, the surgeon who performed the CI surgeries on both girls.  Joanna Smith, the HforH current CEO, was Taylor's first speech pathologist/auditory verbal therapist  and was really the first person that gave us hope that Taylor would listen and talk someday.  She came to hospital and checked on us as Taylor was beginning her bilateral CI surgery at 14 months, fully expecting that our family could use some comfort and reassurance.  Tami Elder, our current auditory verbal therapist, was there along with her family members.  Tami has been Taylor and Lauren's AVT for so many years now; she's practically a family member.  We also saw some old friends who we had started the journey with - a mom with a son around Taylor's age, whom we had gotten to know at the Listening to Littles 2-year old weekly class that Hearts for Hearing sponsored.  Dr. Jace Wolfe, a brilliant audiologist and researcher, has done our cochlear implant mapping for years now; my girls think he is just a regular goofy dad who can help them with their "ears."

The groundbreaking ceremony was an amazing moment for Hearts for Hearing, an organization that truly transformed lives for so many families, including mine.  I'm so thankful for them and will do everything that I can to help the organization continue to progress.

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