Hello Friends & Family,
This year I will be participating in my 3rd Walk4Hearing in support of my daughter Riley, age 6. Riley was born with grade 3 microtia and atresia (little ear and no canal). This condition has caused significant hearing loss in that ear. Riley is a very smart, independent, and beautiful little girl and we continue to do everything we can to improve her hearing. At school Riley wears a BAHA softband to improve her hearing via bone transduction. We continue to see Riley's vocabulary, pronunciation, and language flourish with her hearing device. Her next steps include canalplasty in September where the amazing doctors at CHOP will build her an ear canal and ear drum to provide her the opportunity to hear through her mictoria ear. There is risk (and lots of nervousness) in surgery, but we decided long ago to do everything we can to try to improve her hearing. Once healed from the canalplasty, we plan to travel to California for a Medpor ear, which is one of the best options for external plastic surgery. While Riley thrives, we have learned how she adapted to hearing primarily through one ear, but also how much energy and concentration it takes. If curious, place an ear plug in one ear for an hour to understand some of her challenges. Riley does it all with a smile and a priceless giggle! Please donate to this fantastic cause on her behalf. The money raised goes so many different organizations, including the MCIU, CHOP, and The Ear Community (just a few which have helped us navigate the hearing loss waters). I am so proud of Riley and all she does and we hope to pay forward the support and learnings she has benefitted from on to others.
Many thanks in advance for your donation, support, and love <3.
Shelby Latchford Rutt
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing increases awareness about hearing loss, helps to eradicate the stigma associated with it and raises funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Since 2006, the Walk4Hearing has raised more than $12 million and has become the largest walk for hearing loss taking place in cities across the United States.
We walk because hearing loss is a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
- Approximately 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss
- More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in their workplaces
- An estimated 1 in 5 American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss
- 2.3 million Veterans receive either disability compensation for service-connected hearing disabilities or are in treatment for related hearing issues
Hearing loss affects one's ability to communicate every day in different situations - from a dinner conversation at a noisy restaurant, on the phone, to not hearing alarm clocks and smoke alarms. For people with hearing loss, these situations can be become obstacles without the right information and support. HLAA provides the assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
For more information about HLAA, please visit www.hearingloss.org.