2014 Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics
Ear Community hosts picnics every year around the world helping bring Microtia and Atresia families together. This year’s picnics took place in California, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, Maryland, and Connecticut. It was very exciting for many families! Everyone had a great time at our picnics all summer. Our Ear Community picnics always offer such a wonderful opportunity for Microtia and Atresia families to come together, share experiences with each other, and maybe even make a new friend. Medical professionals such as world renown Microtia and Atresia repair surgeons, anaplastologists, ENTs, audiologists, and therapists along with hearing device companies all come together to mingle with us at our picnics, helping educate us on all of our options including hearing loss. Our 4th Annual Colorado Ear Community Picnic was also held in collaboration with the Let Them Hear Foundation’s Microtia and Atresia surgeon conference this summer.
Thank you to all of the families who were a part of our Ear Community picnics this summer!
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
Founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
June 21, 2014
Everyone had an amazing day at our Pleasanton, California Ear Community picnic that took place on Satuday, June 21st, 2014. It was a clear and beautiful day where we had a little over 200 people come together to meet each other and share their experiences about having Microtia and Atresia. Shannon and Ava Katuszonek were our amazing picnic hosts. Shannon and I have known each other for almost two years now and have become good friends. Shannon found Ear Community when her daughter, Ava, was born with Microtia and Atresia. Shannon was so excited to host our 3rd Annual California Picnic this year along with her whole.
We had a lovely Subway lunch. The kids enjoyed eating shaved ice from Jenna Woods of Pura Vida Shaved Ice and having their faces painted by Virginia Worden of Sunbeam Faces. Shannon told me that she happened to meet Virginia and her husband by chance and then began telling them about our event that she was planning for, saying that she needed to find a face painter and then Virginia told her that she just so happened to be a face painter…so, it was meant to be. The kids enjoyed balloons by Miss Fiona of Happily Ever Laughter Parties.
Our amazing sponsors helped everyone learn about their options at our picnic. We had Natasha and Becky of Cochlear Americas help educate us on the newly launched Baha 4 wireless system Connect and Attract. We had Karen and Rebecca of Oticon Medical helping educate us on the newly launched Ponto Plus System with streamer. Ricky of Stryker CMF helped educate families on the Medpor material that is used in Medpor ear reconstructive surgeries. We had Jim and Patty join us as anaplastologists helping educate everyone about prosthetic ears. Dr. Joseph Roberson (atresia repair ENT) and Dr. Grant Fairbanks (plastic surgeon) and family joined us helping families learn more about rib graft reconstructive ear surgery. We also had discount coupons for BAHA protective skin covers that were provided to us by Ear Gear out of Canada.
Saturday was a day of giving back to the community. In fact, our picnic host, Shannon, was so very thankful for finding Ear Community that she wanted to give back to the nonprofit organization by choosing to completely fund the California picnic herself. We also had Pete and Kristy Smith bring Microtia and Atresia awareness bands with them that they had made for everyone at the picnic. Kristy said she wanted to help give back and by donating the wrist bands was a great way to help spread awareness about Microtia and Atresia. Kristy and Pete traveled from Arizona to attend our California picnic. Shannon and Ava traveled from West Virginia to host our picnic in California (after recently moving away from California a few months ago).
We had families at our Ear Community picnic who have been attending our California Ear Community picnic for the past three years and we also had newcomers to our picnic who were excited because they were able to make a decision on a BAHA after trying them on at our picnic. It was a day of joy and even some tears of joy for some families who were relieved to find others in the same situation with Microtia and Atresia. Thank you for coming to our picnic!
Thank you to everyone who was involved with making our Ear Community possible. Our Pleasanton, CA picnic was an amazing picnic for everyone who attended! Below are some fun memories from our special day in California!
Founder of Ear Community
June 28, 2014
On Saturday, June 28th, 2014, Ear Community hosted an amazing picnic for Microtia and Atresia families in Ansonia, CT. We had families join us from the New York area and Connecticut, together. The day was a perfect day at the Ansonia Recreation Nature Center and children were allowed into the nature center for free after our picnic. We even had a fun play area adjacent to or picnic pavilion that was great for the kids to play at! Our host family, Mary, Kevin, and Isaac Kohler, welcomed everyone where we had a wonderful time. We had about 100 people join us at our picnic. Some families were able to meet other families for the very first time and share experiences together while others were able to help guide others and share their experiences as this have been their second or third Ear Community picnic and they were happy to be back again!
I had been given the opportunity to get to know Mary over the past few years through our support group on Facebook and when the state of Connecticut came up on our Ear Community picnic list, Mary and her family were the first ones I thought of for hosting our picnic. You see, Mary’s family is one of those unique families where her husband Kevin was born with Microtia and Atresia and so was their son, Isaac. Even though Microtia and Atresia is typically not hereditary for the majority of us, there are the families like Mary’s when you just wonder if Microtia and Atresia are more genetic based than we may realize.
We had a very skilled face painter, Dana Palermo, of Crazy Fun Face Painting and Body Art, who drew painted some of the nicest faces on our kids at the picnic. www.crazyfunfacepainting.com The kids also enjoyed the entertainment of fun magician, Jasen Matthews of Magical Entertainment Industries, who not only entertained the kids with awesome magic tricks, but also made fun balloons, and brought his fluffy cute white bunny too! Mary’s family provided balloons for the kids with a helium tank and Mary’s sister and brother-in-law, Michele and Fred Bialek, catered our picnic with a delicious lunch from their restaurant, Liquid Lunch. http://liquidlunchrestaurant.com/ One of the nicest surprises at our picnic was a large sheet cake that Mary had baked for us to enjoy at our picnic with Ear Community on it! Mary’s employer, BJ’s, donated a gift card to Ear Community that was used toward our sheet cake. It was delicious too and such a nice surprise! Thank you BJ’s! http://www.bjsrestaurants.com/
Our amazing sponosrs helped educate all of our families at our picnic! We had Kim Blanch with Cochlear Americas who helped us learn more about the newly launched Baha 4 Connect and Attract wireless systems. We had Carolina Abdala with Oticon Medical who helped us learn more about the newly launched Ponto Plus System. A special thank you to Josh Satin for being at our picnic from Stryker CMF who helped us all learn more about Medpor implants. We also had discount coupons for BAHA protective skin covers that were provided to us by Ear Gear out of Canada. We even had Isaac’s speech therapist join us and a representative for early intervention services that is telling everyone about how Ear Community can help M/A families. Everyone had a nice time at our picnic and enjoyed the day with Microtia and Atresia families.
There’s always a family who just touches my heart that I find at my picnics and that was Melissa Geller’s family at the Connecticut picnic. Melissa found me with tears of thanks in her eyes at our picnic and made me cry too when she said ever since the day her 8 month old son was born, she has been glued to the Ear Community website learning all that she can about how to help her son with is Microtia and Atresia. She found Ear Community before being discharged from the hospital and she told me how much it all meant to her to have that available to her, especially when there were days she just worried and felt lost. It was such a pleasure to have met you and your beautiful little boy Melissa! You know you made me cry too and that is exactly what live for at our picnics….the true genuine feelings of helping others. Thank you for that!
It was very nice to finally meet so many families at our picnic, even families who have become friends of mine over the years too! Thank you to everyone who helped make our Connecticut Ear Community picnic such a success this June. Thank you to you and your beautiful family, Mary, for hosting our CT picnic for Ear Community!
Founder of Ear Community
June 28, 2014
On Saturday, June 28th, 2014, Ear Community hosted a Microtia and Atresia picnic in Detorit, Michigan. The picnic was held at a beautiful brand new park in Shelby Township, MI called Gene Shepherd Park. The kids loved being able to play at the fire truck themed playground right by the pavilion. The adults enjoyed playing bocce ball, and horseshoes. It was a warm sunny day with a nice breeze which was good because it helped cool everyone off since it was pretty hot. We had about 100 people attend our Ear Community picnic making it nice and quaint. Shannon and Davin Gordon were our picnic hosts for our lovely picnic. I have known Shannon for the past two years and just knew she would be the perfect host for one of our Detroit Ear Community picnic. Shannon is also one of our admins for our Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook. So, when I asked Shannon if she would like to host our picnic, she was delighted to!
We had Kona Ice come with pizza, hot dogs, chips and a beverage, plus a shave ice, which was perfect for a hot day. We also had Miss. Tish from Fun With Sparkles , there doing face painting and balloon making. She made some great balloons and fantastic face painting. We had a wonderful children’s musician, Ms. Carissa, singing and interacting with the children and families from Ms. Carissa Rocks. The kids really loved being able to play and participate with her instruments, and playing with her bean bags following directions from her in her fun bean bag song. We had Princess “Britta” there from Tea Party Castles. She visited with the little princess’ and princes and took pictures with them. We also had a magician, Ryan, who performed magic tricks and a magic show from ABC Magic Entertainment. Everyone loved this, kids and adults. Ryan did a great job getting everyone involved and entertained. Ryan also has a hearing loss. A special thank you to Shannon’s parents for donating extra canopies so everyone could have additional nice shade from Detroit Wilbert, and Paws & Remember of Southeast Michigan .
Our amazing sponsors helped everyone learn about their options at our lovely picnic. Thank you so much for believing in our cause and for supporting Ear Community’s mission, to help bring everyone together so no one with Microtia/Atresia is alone and to help educate everyone about all options. Chris Hasson from Cochlear Americas helped everyone learn about the new Baha 4 wireless system and how it is compatible with FM Systems. Steve Wills and Laura Phelps from Oticon Medical helped educate everyone on the new Ponto Plus System. In order to help families understand more about Medpor, we had Gregg Diamond, Ryan Nowicki, Anita Mehta, and Steve Guolla with us from Stryker CMF. We also had Dr. Fairbanks and his wife Amy at our picnic helping families learn more about Rib Graft surgery. Stephanie Kline helped everyone understand more about prosthetic ears from the University of Michigan Health System. It was nice to see a few sample prosthetic ears to help families understand more about prosthetic ears. We also had discount coupons for BAHA protective skin covers that were provided to us by Ear Gear out of Canada. Davin Gordon’s speech therapist, Anjonette Winningham also joined us at our picnic helping discuss speech options and therapy services with everyone.
Since I could not attend the Michigan Ear Community picnic, this day and entire event would not have been possible without the help of Shannon and Davin and the Gordon family! I did check in with Shannon at our picnic while I was at the Connecticut Ear Community picnic to make sure everyone was have a great time! A special thank you to Shannon’s parents for donating snacks and water for our picnic. Thank you so much to Erica Bishop from Northern Pearl Boutique Photography who did a wonderful job as our picnic photographer and for donating her time to capture the fun memories of our special day. Erica loved being a part of the day and meeting all of the children and their families. Shannon and Davin enjoyed hosting our Ear Community picnic! Shannon told me she was so very grateful to have been able to host this picnic and that it really meant a lot to her and her family. “Thank you so much for allowing me to do so Melissa! Davin absolutely loved meeting other people “like” him. There were a lot of very thankful families, with a few tears shed, a lot of questions and sense of peace from them being able to talk to all of the medical professionals, as well as other families. Thank you for a special day here in Michigan!”
Founder of Ear Community
July 19, 2014
It was a hot, but perfect day at our 4th Annual Colorado Ear Community picnic that took place in beautiful Broomfield, Colorado on Saturday the 19th, 2014. We had about 320 people attend our amazing headquarter Ear Community picnic this year! We had families join us from various states including California, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, New York, Virginia, Tennesee, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, even Australia. These families were so excited to come together and share experiences and learn about their options that our picnic didn’t end until almost 6pm!
Our 4th Annual Colorado Ear Community picnic was hosted by Audra and Iliana (BMA/Medpor ear reconstruction) Costillo and their family this year. I met little Iliana while observing in the preschool class that I was interested in for my daughter Ally a couple of years back at the elementary school they both attend now. Soon, I had met Iliana’s mom, Audra, and we have known each other for the past two years. Since getting to know them, I just knew they both would be the perfect picnic hosts for our special day! A special thank you to Audra and Iliana for hosting our picnic because I just could not have pulled it off myself as our C O picnic continues to grow each year! Also, thank you to Iliana’s dad and grandparents for helping out with our picnic too and putting together all of our goody bags for the kids! My family helped out as well as we do every year. A very special thank you to my husband, Brent, for helping with everything and watching our girls and thank you to my mother-in-law, Nancy, and father-in-law, Mike Weakland, for also helping us with our girls so we could focus and help families at our picnic.
Now, our Ear Community picnics, especially our Colorado head quarter picnic, would not be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. I would like to thank and recognize Cochlear Americas, Oticon Medical, and Sophono for making our amazing picnics possible. Thank you also for helping educate the families that attended our Colorado picnic about the latest in hearing device technology and how bone conduction hearing devices can help hearing loss. A special thank you to Stryker CMF for also sponsoring our picnics this year….I am so happy that in addition to helping educate families more about Medpor, used in ear reconstruction, that you were also able to see some of the smiles behind those cute Medpor ears. Thank you each and everyone of you for your support and for believing in Ear Community’s mission to help the Microtia and Atresia community. Again, thank you for making our special family events possible with your support!
The medical professionals who joined us at our picnic were Dr. John Reinisch (the pioneer of Medpor for ear reconstruction), Dr. Joseph Roberson (canalplasty surgeon), Dr. Ron Eavey (soft tissue/rib graft surgeon), Dr. Arturo Bonilla (rib graft surgeon), Dr. Russell Griffiths (rib graft/medpor surgeon), Dr. Scott Stephan (medpor surgeon), Dr. Andrew Winkler (ENT/Vistafix partner surgeon), and Barb Lillo (anaplastologist). Thank you to all of our surgeons who joined us at our picnic and for speaking with so many families helping them find the answers they are looking for and the facts about surgical options. Thank you to Barb Lillo and Dr. Andrew Winkler for helping the kids make molds so they can understand more about prosthetic ears. It was fun!
Our picnic attendees enjoyed a fun K9 rescue dog show that was hosted by Brooks Howard of the K-9 School Protection Team and his rescue team out of Westminster, CO. The kids just loved having the German Shephard dogs with us! Thank you Brooks for making our day extra fun and for also bringing a videographer to film our special day so we can always remember it! We had an amazing lunch catered by the Broomfield Chick-fil-A owned by Dean Laws who has supported our event for the past two years and thank you to Briana and team for setting up and serving our lunch at our picnic. We had the Chick-fil-A cow mascot with us, lots of fun games for everyone to play, and the kids enjoyed being given . A very special thank you to Erin Kelley for being our picnic photographer and helping us capture our fun memories from our special day! Erin is a volunteer children’s photographer and if anyone is looking for someone to capture their special memories and occassions, you can contact Erin at: 303-862-9272. Thank you Erin! Thank you to Aaron Simko, one of Ear Community’s Cochlear Baha recipients, for providing us with music at our picnic. Thank to Sheri and her son of Fantastic Facepainting for making our day so fun for the kids with face painting and balloon making! Thank you to Larry Dubois in management and my best friend John Connor at Creager Mercantile for donating 250 bottles of water so everyone could stay hydrated at our picnic and for donating the candy and goodies that were in our goody bags for the kids. Creager has donated bottled water and candy to Ear Community for our past two years picnics. Thank you! Thank you to Kevin Goldstein of Far End Gear for donating single ear buds at our picnic so individuals with unilateral Microtia/Atresia can hear better! Far End Gear has donated their amazing hearing bud products for the past two years. Thank you Kevin! Thank you to Ear Gear for providing discount brochures for BAHA protective covers at our picnic for everyone too! Thank you also to Don at the Broomfield Walmart for the gift card we used for goody bags and thank you to Janice at the Thornton Costco for the gift card we used toward the kids juice boxes. Thank you to Jordana Lebowitz’s family and Bradford Real Estate for making a donation toward our face painter for our picnic. Thank you to the Hands & Voices Organization for making a donation toward our face painter. Thank you to CEI for also sponsoring toward our balloon maker for our picnic.
Thank you to each and everyone of you who attended our picnic this year and who helped make our day the special day that it was. Thank you for your support and for supporting our cause for Microtia and Atresia through the Ear Community Foundation! I can’t thank you all enough for your help and I am so happy that so many of you were a part of and enjoyed our amazing day at our picnic! See you next year at our 5th Annual Colorado Ear Community picnic!
Thank you so much,
Founder of Ear Community
July 26, 2014
Everyone at our Maryland Ear Community Microtia and Atresia picnic had a fabulous time on Saturday, July 26th, 2014! It was a gorgeous day in Frederick, Maryland and we had about 200 people join us in coming together to meet each other, share experiences, and to learn about all of their options for Microtia and Atresia loved ones. We had attendees joins us from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, California, New York, New Jersey, Washing D.C., Delaware, and Ohio! Thank you to everyone who attended to make our event so successful! Our hosts, Tilly and Saydi Lawrence (and family), did an amazing job organizing our special day! Our park location was beautiful and we had butterfly balloons (for the Microtia butterfly) lining the road to our park location along with balloons in the Ear Community Organization’s colors.
We enjoyed learning about the latest in bone conduction hearing devices through our amazing sponsors, Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical. Families were able to try on both the newly launched Cochlear Baha 4 wireless system and the newly launched Oticon Medical Ponto Plus w/streamer system. Another one of our amazing sponsors, Stryker CMF, helped families learn more about the Medpor option when considering reconstructive ear surgery. Dr. Russell Griffiths (Idaho rib graft/medpor surgeon), Dr. Mark Jones (Georgia rib graft surgeon), and Dr. Grant Fairbanks and wife Amy (Utah rib graft surgeon) helped educate us on the rib graft technique by helping families understand more about rib graft surgery. Thank you to Ear Gear for providing us with a sample BAHA cover and discount coupons for Ear Gear accessories! Thank you so much for being a part of our special day and wanting to help educate our picnic attendees!
A very special thank you to Tilly Lawrence and her daughter, Saydi (who was born with Microtia and Atresia). Tilly and her family found Me, and Ear Community, when Saydi was born and we have become friends ever since. Tilly and her family were able to learn more about Saydi’s Microtia and Atresia along with her hearing loss through the Ear Community website and our online support group, the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook. When I had asked Tilly if she and her family would like to host an Ear Community picnic where they lived, she and her family and Saydi were just overjoyed! Tilly and Saydi (and family), I can’t tell you how exciting and how nice it was for my family and me to finally meet you after speaking with you over the phone and via e-mail for the past couple of years! Thank you also to Debbie Lawrence, Tilly’s mother-in-law (Saydi’s Grandma) for their help and in providing trail mix snack bags for our picnic. A very special thank you also to Gavin (Tilly’s husband), Christie Lawrence and Jeremy Lawrence for being so kind to make sure our delicious Chick-fil-A lunch was delivered and all of the bottles of water and tea! Thank you for bringing everything to us! Tilly, I hope you and your family feel so rewarded by hosting our Ear Community picnic, helping bring all of these families and individuals together in your state! Thank you for helping make everything possible with planning, hard work, and in taking the time to make it a great venue for everyone! THANK YOU Tilly!
Also, a very special thank you to our picnic photographer, Devin Hunt of Devin Hunt Photography, http://devinhuntphotography.com, who donated his time to help us remember all of the special moments during our picnic day. Devin is one of Tilly’s friends and when she told him about our Ear Community picnic, he was happy to help volunteer! We also enjoyed some of the cutest singing that I have ever heard by the “Mini Muffins band,” Rommel Miranda’s two beautiful little kids. Thank you Rommel (one of Tilly’s long time friends) for entertaining us at our picnic….we all loved listening to your kiddos sing and wow are they great and oh so cute!!! Thank you to Fun Buses of Frederick for providing our FUN Bus that the kids enjoyed playing and swinging and jumping in while at our picnic, and thank you to our face painter, Monique Canale of Canale Creations Face Painting Fun, for your artistic skills and painting some really beautiful faces! Thank you also to Bree and Rita of the Frederick Chick-fil-A for catering our picnic lunch, making it delicious and fun for all!
Founder of Ear Community
August 2, 2014
On Saturday, August 2nd, 2014, Ear Community hosted a Microtia and Atresia family picnic in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an amazing day that provided the opportunity for about 100 people to come together and share their experiences and to be able to meet someone just like them with a little ear(s). Our amazing Atlanta summer picnic was hosted by Dr. Summer Heard and her son, Hayden, and husband Cole and also hosted by Brennan and Michelle Bolt and their two sons Ewan and Nolan. Our picnic location was on the beautiful Emory University campus. The kids at our picnic all enjoyed face painting and balloons and were provided a delicious lunch provided by The Varsity catering. We even had a singer/entertainer who spread joy to everyone the whole time during our event.
Dr. Summer Heard is a Board of Director member for the Ear Community Organization and has been excitedly planning for our Atlanta picnic since December of 2013. Dr. Heard is an audiologist who not only is also on Ear Community’s Advisory Board as well, but Summer has also become a friend of mine. Summer’s son, Hayden, recently had Medpor reconstructive surgery and was so excited to share his experience with other families and show off his new ear! Summer and her family wanted to give back to Ear Community not only by hosting our picnic by helping bring families in the same situation together in Georgia, but they also provided the face painter for the kids! Brennan Bolt also gives back to the community, through Ear Community, by donating his time and services as Ear Community’s attorney, through McKenna, Long, and Aldridge in Atlanta. So, being a part of this Ear Community picnic was very special to Brennan and his family being from Atlanta and being a part of the Ear Community Organization. Thank you Brennan for all of your help and for giving back to the Microtia and Atresia community through the Ear Community Organization. Thank you for your friendship and your guidance for the Ear Community Organization. Brennan and his family also sponsored the location for our picnic! Embree Deason also helped our picnic be successful by putting together goody bags for the kids from Oriental Trading Company. Thank you Embree for wanting to make our picnic even more fun for the kids! I would also like to thank Kelli Johnson singer and songwriter from Glencoe, Alabama for providing our picnic with your amazing music. I was told that Kelli sang beautifully at our picnic….thank you for singing and spreading joy on our special day Kelli! Thank you to our face painters, Gallman and Shelby Rosser from Oxford, Alabama for donating their time to help paint all of the adorable faces on Saturday! Thank you to Connie Davis at Daisy the Clown for making fun balloon art for the kids at our Ear Community picnic! Thank you to each and every one of you who came together to help make our day so special! There was a lot of hard work put in by everyone in order to make our event successful. Thank you everyone involved!
Families were able to learn about the latest in hearing device technology by visiting hearing device booths sponsored by Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical. Beth Fountain of Cochlear Americas helped educate families on the newly launched Baha 4 processor and Lindzee Nunez Weeks helped educate families on the newly launched Oticon Medical Ponto Plus system. Families were able to try these hearing devices on their children who have hearing loss (due to atresia) and also see what it sounds like through the hearing devices themselves. We also had Chas Davis and Jason Smith with us from Stryker CMF, helping educate families about Medpor. Medpor is an optional material that can be used in outer ear reconstruction. We had both Dr. Grant Fairbanks (of Utah) and Dr. Mark Jones (of Atlanta, GA) at our picnic helping educate families about the rib graft surgical technique. Thank you Dr. Fairbanks and Dr. Jones for taking the time to be a part of our Ear Community picnics and for helping educate these families with the facts. Your passion truly shows…thank you for putting smiles on so many children and adults witht the beautiful ears you sculpt! It is always nice to see the families in a stress free environment being able to ask questions from medical professionals and hearing device specialists while the kids play!
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, Cochlear Americas/Oticon Medical/and Stryker CMF for being a part of our special day. Without your support and sponsorship, our Ear Community picnics would not be possible. Thank you for supporting and believing in Ear Community as a way of giving back to the community through a charity/nonprofit organization! Ear Community loves you and appreciates all that you do from your support to the products you develop to help our children live better quality, happier lives. THANK YOU!
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
San Antonio, Texas
August 16, 2014
On Saturday August 16th, we had our San Antonio, Texas Ear Community Microtia and Atresia picnic. It was a beautiful day and we had about 175 people attend. The kids played and enjoyed a hula hoop competition over at the Oticon Medical booth. The kids enjoyed face painting and balloon art and a magic show thanks to Magic World Entertainment. Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Subway. We even had the San Antonio police force bring their German Shepard dogs for the kids to bond with. Our picnic host was Stephanie Sanchez and Y’Mani Coleman who did a great job organizing everything and finding our beautiful park location for our picnic. Families were able to come together and share experiences and watch the kids play and learn more about hearing loss and options for Microtia and Atresia. We had a couple of expert Microtia repair plastic surgeons (Dr. Arturo Bonilla and Dr. Grant Fairbanks) attend our picnic helping families learn the facts about surgical options for the rib graft surgical technique. Collette Shrader, an anaplastologist in the Texas area, joined us and helped educate families on the prosthetic ear option. Shannon Callihan and Hunter Cameron from Stryker CMF were also with us helping educate families on the Medpor ear implant option. Thanks to Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical, families also were given the opportunity to try on the latest hearing devices for BAHA technology and learn more about how they can help their loved ones with hearing loss hear better.
I would like to thank our picnic sponsors for helping make our special day in San Antonio possible. Thank you to Cochlear Americas and Oticon Medical for being one of our picnic sponsors and for helping educate families about BAHAs and hearing loss at our picnic. Thank you to our sponsor, Stryker CMF, for helping educate families about Medpor for ears. Thank you also to Mike McCoy of Subway for helping make our lunch affordable by giving us a discount.
Thank you to all of the families, medical professionals, and our sponsors who attended our picnic in San Antonio!
Below are some fun memories from our special day in Texas: