About the Founder of Ear Community and the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook
My name is Melissa Tumblin. I am not a medical doctor nor am I a psychologist, but I am a mother to a child who was born without her right ear who has a hearing loss. I am a stay at home mom who is married to my best friend, Brent, and I have two very happy little girls, Hailey and Ally. Ally was born with Microtia and Atresia of her right ear. Because of advocating for Ally, I have learned about hearing loss, school programs, and surgical options more than I ever imagined I would. For these reasons and my passion for helping others, I wish to share what I have learned with everyone. I have been asked to speak at events and small gatherings. I have served as a Board of Director Member for the Hands & Voices Organization and as a member of the Parent Advocacy Board/Council for Children’s Hospital Colorado. My family and I live in Colorado, USA. I have over ten years of medical/surgical device marketing experience and I continue to work part time as a medical device marketing consultant. My career has taught me to be an advocate for the products that I market and for the companies that I have marketed for. Now, that I am a mother, I find myself being an advocate for my daughters, especially for my Ally. I received my Bachelors degree in Psychology/Biology (EPOB, geared toward premed) from the University of Colorado at Boulder and I love what I do.
I would like to share with you why I created EarCommunity.org and the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook. I wanted to find a way to help promote educational awareness about Microtia and Atresia in hopes of making things easier for the next family who has a child with Microtia and Atresia. I wanted to help families and individuals learn more about hearing loss and how to better understand the affects hearing loss can have on individuals and their lives. I also wanted to help families connect with each other so they can share experiences with one another. It is very important to realize that none of us are alone because we all have each other now. One of my main goals for both sites is to help promote parent, self, and patient advocacy. I believe in doing your research and learning as much as you can so you can be well informed about the choices that can help you make the best decisions. One of the worst feelings is realizing later on that you were not informed of “all” your options and being left to wonder if things could have been different somehow, if you had only known about another choice. While at the same time, it is very important to help update our medical professionals regarding what you have learned about Microtia and Atresia since it is fairly rare. New information can often help our doctors and audiologists learn how to help us better. And so, I created our support group so that it can help educate as many people as possible, including everything else that goes along with Microtia and Atresia and a hearing loss. Our support group can help support individuals and families emotionally as well. Please remember to do your research, ask questions, and remember that you have the right to know what “all” of your options are. When someone is not informed of all their options, they may be missing out on what might have been the best choice or decision for them or a loved one. I hope as our support group continues to grow, the information posted will help make it easier for families and individuals to make the best choices and decisions.
Our support group is a warm and caring place that I hope everyone feels comfortable coming to. I do hope our support group helps all of us to grow in many ways, even if it helps to make us a little bit more open minded and accepting of more people on our earth. Thank you for being a part of our community!
Founder of EarCommunity.org and the Microtia and Atresia Support Group