Winning Facebook Contest Letter!
For your consideration, This is Me.
From the moment I was born, my life has been all about the things that I can't have. Nearly every step of the way I've lost out and been left behind because of my hearing loss. It all started when I was 5 years old. No one bothered to teach me how to read because they were so worried about me learning how to talk. I was the only kindergartner around who needed to take care of something as important as my first set of hearing aids. I couldn't run as fast as the other kids, or swing as high as them because I knew how great the cost to replace my hearing aids. I knew I needed hearing aids, and over and over again, they've been the first priority in my life over everything else.
So all of my life, I have had to burden myself or my family with the tasks of not only the times when I needed new hearing aids, but times when I have had to make repairs on them as well. There have been times when I have a choice between maybe a bill, or having to pay a couple hundred to get hearing aids fixed. I always had to choose the hearing aids. Never did it come a time in my life that hearing aids were put on the back burner for something else, because they're an instrumental part of my life. You see, rather than slowly losing my hearing, I was born this way. But growing up hearing impaired is very different than gradually losing it. My hearing loss has always been about me. It has shaped everything about me, my personality, and my relationships, both with myself and with others. The thing is, hearing loss is considered an old person’s problem. It’s normal for grandpa to miss what was said. But people don’t expect it in the young.
In high school I was in ROTC, with the dream of joining the service after graduation, just like my grandfather. I rose through the ranks of the high school levels fully expecting to be able to join - that is until I was told the harsh reality that I would never be able to, because I would "have to hear 'em coming."
I spiraled emotionally after that, not really knowing where my life could go, after something I wanted to badly for so long was taken from me, all because of my hearing.
Fast forward to present date, and here I am at 40 years of age and once again in serious need of new hearing aids -- my current ones have been repaired just one too many times. I turn the tv up too loud. I spend much of my time now listening to people closely and often guessing at what they’re saying and asking them to repeat something they just said. I see my coworkers and my wife get frustrated because I have difficulties on the phone and in regular face to face conversations. Even though my hearing aids are getting progressively worse in their old age, I can deal with all of this, I have done so most of my life and you tend to get used to it. But there are some words I'm looking forward to hearing in the very near future. My little girl’s first words. She’s reached the fun stage where she’s doing a lot of babbling, but no actual words yet. At least that’s what my wife says. I have to take her word in this case. I’m only going to have one opportunity to hear my little girl say her first words, something most parents don't have to worry about, but I do, because of my hearing aids. As she grows up, I don’t want to miss a thing.
This past September, after 5 years of infertility and lots of hope, my wife and I welcomed our little miracle baby. She will be an only child. Because there is a genetic component to my hearing loss, I feared that I would be passing my hearing along to the next generation, that my perfect little angel would somehow be less than. I think I cried harder when I found out she could hear than I did when she was born. My hearing loss was likely caused by jaundice at birth. So when my little girl showed up this past September and developed jaundice on her second day of life, my wife and I fought hard to keep her bilirubin levels down. She was given the all clear. But I am still paranoid. My baby girl has to go for a follow up hearing test, and I keep putting it off. I’d give anything so she doesn’t have to go through what I did.
My other half accepts me and my condition unconditionally. She cares so much for me that she has been nagging me (sorry honey) that it’s time for new ones. I however do not want to leave my girls without.
My hearing aids are over six years old and they are just about on their last leg of life. I know I need a hearing test in order to determine just how much of a change my hearing has become. However having insurance that does not cover such a “luxury” as they seem to call it, means that all the money for it will come out of my pocket. I’ve been holding out hoping that the current national conversation on healthcare would help me and the many in need of hearing aids. But it looks like my hearing aids need to be replaced in the very near future. Normally I would do what I have to do and try to make ends meet somehow, but my life is different now.
I just found out that I will be out of a job in July. Without naming the company, I will say that the company is eliminating many positions as a part of a mass downsizing, on a path to eventually shutting down entirely. My job search is even affected by my hearing loss. Many companies start with prescreening phone interviews and while I am up front about my hearing at the start of the conversation, by the fourth or fifth request to repeat what was said, the frustration is high on both ends.
I’ve never asked for anything really in my life because I tend to either go without or eventually find a way. But in this case here, the gift of being able to not only hear, but to hear clearly and concisely would be one of the greatest gifts that I could hope for. By me receiving a gift of that magnitude, I would be able to gift back the joy and happiness knowing that I’m not going to miss a thing. I’m going to be able to share the memories of my little girl’s childhood. I can ace a job interview. I’m going to be able to laugh at a joke because I get it, not because I totally missed what was said, but don’t want someone to feel bad. I’m not going to have to worry about someone shushing me when I lean over to my wife at the movies and ask her to repeat to me what was just said that I missed. My life in essence would not be about what I am missing. Please like my post so we can win the hearing aids. I say “we” because the hearing aids aren’t for me, they are for them, my wife and daughter.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity and Good Luck to all. Written by John C.
Hello... I am writing in about my son Matthew. Matthew was born with a hearing loss and he wasn't diagnosed until he was almost 3 years old. At birth he failed the hearing test in the hospital. About a week later I had to take him again for a hearing test and he passed . With that incredible news I went home and took care of him as if he could hear completely fine and he had no hearing problems. When he turned 2 he didn't talk much and everyone would tell me he is a boy and boys talk later than girls. He would always do things I asked him to do so I never thought it was a hearing loss for Matthew.
At almost 3 years old I went with a mothers instinct and took him for more hearing tests to rule out any hearing loss. That's when we were introduced to Dr. Jill Gordon. After some testing done Matthew did have inner nerve damage in both ears and needed hearing aids. Dr. Gordon was incredible with our little boy ( even when he cried for every hearing test) she would be so patient with him and even allowed my Dad to come for his tests and sit in the booth with him because he would stay so calm when he was with his Grandpa.
I remember taking him home with his hearing aids in and he heard a fire engine for the first time asking what that was.
What an amazing incredible life Matthew lives every since he got his hearing aids. He speaks clearly is an honor student plays sports and lives life to the fullest. We are so lucky we have Dr. Gordon and her staff who take such good care of Matthew.
Written by Nancy J.
Anita S. is a lovely widowed neighbor who has a loving family including two daughters, two sons, four grandchildren and two cats. She is a quiet soul due to hearing loss. Anita isn't that talkative anymore because she can't hear that well. Conversations are very short. I think that rather than keep asking what is being said, she remain silent. Now Anita only says hello and goodbye.
She has full-blown osteoporosis and has sustained breaks including a broken wrist and toes. Her family fears for her not getting help in an emergent situation because she cannot successfully use the phone. Because she cannot hear, it is an extreme health risk according to her doctor.
I believe she deserves the free hearing aids, because she is on a very strict, fixed income. I would love for Anita to be able to properly hear and carry on conversations with her family, friends and neighbors. This lovely lady has a smile worth 1000 words. But if she could just hear those words, she wouldn’t be missing out on making memories and adding quality years to her life. Most importantly, I would love for her to be self-sufficient in her golden years and this would bring a smile not just from cheek to cheek, but ear to ear!
Written by Pamela R.
Hi, I'm Amir and I have Bilateral hearing Loss. I'm 14 years old and I have been wearing hearing aids since I was three years old. When I was three years old I wasn't really responsive. I was always quiet and did not talk a lot. At first my parents thought I was deaf so they took me to occupational therapy. But later on they would still test me. Other doctors said they needed me to be put asleep to test me. My parents did not allow that. So then they stumbled upon professional hearing center. We was introduced to Dr. Jill Gordon. Later on, She had diagnosed me with bilateral hearing loss. That was when I was able to get my hands onto my first pair of hearing aids. When I first put the hearing aids in my ears, I felt like I was in a different world. I was able to hear better and be more social. I had speech disability but day by day I was able conquer that. Fast forwards through the years I was able to excel and be on honor roll in class and be able to achieve my first two varsity letters for Matawan regional High School. One for football and one for Winter Track. Without the help from Dr. Jill Gordon and the rest of the staff, and my hearing aids I would've not been able to achieve my goals that I've already achieved.
Written by Amir C.
Growing up I was the "baby," the youngest of five children. I was lucky to have such amazing older siblings who always looked after me. My one sister, Linda, was always there for me. When she got her driver's license she took me everywhere.....to my baseball games, for ice cream, but the thing we loved to do together was go to the movies. She later joined the Coast Guard and lived in many parts of the country before finally getting her discharge and settling back here in New Jersey. Unfortunately the years have taken a toll on her hearing. I wish that my sister could enjoy a "normal" life again....hear the purring of her cat, go to the movies and enjoy her popcorn without wondering what dialogue she has missed. These things I wish for her.....she deserves it.
Written by Tom S.
My dad is an 85 year old retired Navy veteran and NJ State policeman. He suffered hearing loss from an explosion on his ship and years of firearms training before ear protection. He is still a vibrant and active gentleman but has had a lot of difficulties with his current hearing aids. I'm hoping this post is a winner for him because I would love to have Dr. Gordon make his life better.
Written by Annette B.
My name is Chiyomi and I am 29 years old. Over the course of the past few months, I started noticing that I couldn’t hear properly. For example, my Fiancé would be in the room across from me asking me a question and I’d literally have to get closer to have him repeat what he said. There are other times that I can’t hear my coworkers even if they are close to me. My hearing loss became bothersome when I started realizing that I was starting to read the mouth of anyone speaking in front of me. That’s when I decided to get a hearing test with Dr. Gordon. She’s amazing! From the minute I met her, she could tell that I was pretty frustrated and was determined to get to the bottom of my hearing issue. The results from my hearing test were a little disturbing mainly because I am so young. The only resolution for me to be able to hear better is for me to get hearing aids. As some of you already know, they are expensive and most insurance companies don’t cover full cost of them either. I know I am young, but I am struggling to obtain them because my insurance won’t cover full costs. The stress over the cost is causing me to really delay obtaining them for another year or two despite Dr. Gordon’s advice. By no means am I ashamed of my disability, however, without managing it, I know it's only going to get worse. Luckily, this contest might be the best way to obtain hearing aids! I am hoping that anyone who reads my story can really support it and like it to help me win!
Written by Chiyomi D.
Hi my name is Sandra and I'm writing in for my mother Linda. Let me tell you a bit about my lovely mother. She raised me and my two sisters single-handedly due to the devastation of the loss of my father. My mom and dad were very much in love, if it is like something out of a romance novel. We have had to move multiple times this time we moved from Florida to New Jersey. My parents move mountains to provide us with a great life here in New Jersey. We thought life was made once we got here. Everything was going as planned. My parents were happy. My sisters and I were happy until we got a phone call from my dads work saying we needed to come to the hospital immediately. We all hopped into the car and we immediately headed to the hospital. To face the unknown.Upon arrival they took my mom away and left my sisters and I in the waiting room. A few minutes later we found our my dad had passed away me at 13 my sister Jodi at 16 and my sister Ila like 19. Since the passing of my father my mom has taken on both roles as mother and father she taught us how to drive, she taught us matters, she taught us how to be compassionate human in society. Despite the passing of my dad she really tried her hardest just smile and provide for us. She never remarried either.
It was about 10 years when my sister Jodi and I really noticed the hearing deficit when we were at a restaurant and the waiter had asked her if she wanted octopus and she happily said yes with excitement. Knowing my mom I knew she would never eat that. She sat there with a plate of octopus front of her and a very perplexed look on her face. "Did I really order this". She currently misses almost every word and cannot keep up with conversations I would love to have a conversation with my mom without repeating myself up to five times this hearing loss has really been affecting her. I would be so grateful for her to hear again she has been through so much and lost so much that she can at least have her hearing back.
Written by Sandra