Meet Bear. Bear is two years old and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Bear was born with bilateral Microtia and Atresia (born with Grade I Microtia of both ears and has no ear canals resulting in hearing loss). Bear is a very bubbly little boy who enjoys exploring life everyday. Even though Bear would carry on in his cute ways as any toddler would, Jenni and her husband, Trey, worried that he was not hearing very well. At one time, Bear had a an older bone conduction hearing aid (BCHA) as a loaner unit and they realized that a device like this could help Bear hear better. When, Jenni, Bear’s mom, realized that Bear wasn’t hearing everything she began researching how to obtain a bone conduction hearing device on a softband head band for Bear. However, Bear’s family was denied insurance coverage for a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid). For the past year and a half, Jenni has gone to a number of hearing clinics and met with a number of audiologists and ENTs trying to find a way to help Bear obtain a hearing device through their insurance provider. Jenni even struggled to obtain a denial letter from multiple hearing clinics in order to even begin the appeals process with her insurance provider. Frustrated and wondering how they would be able to afford to purchase a BAHA, Jenni applied through Ear Community seeking help for Bear. On April 25th, Bear was fitted with his new Oticon Medical Ponto Pro processor.
Jenni and Trey have been members of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group for the past year and a half and they knew that this support group was part of a nonprofit charity organization, called Ear Community, that was founded by Melissa Tumblin, a mother of a child born with Microtia and Atresia. Today, Bear is hearing better than ever. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts” say Jenni and Trey Sheneman… “Even though Bear has always had a great smile, his smile just seems brighter than ever before.”
While the Ear Community organization is proud to have donated Bear’s new Oticon Medical Ponto Pro sound processor and soft band head band, none of this would have been possible without Oticon Medical donating this amazing hearing device to Ear Community to begin with. Oticon Medical believes in helping individuals with hearing loss so that they can live a better quality of life. Oticon Medical is a well respected international hearing device manufacturer that is a part of the “William Demant Group [which has] 100-plus years of experience in audiology and sound processing and established manufacturing and logistics infrastructure.”
Ear Community wishes to say a very special thank you to the hearing device professionals who were involved with helping Bear hear better. Thank you to Dr. Erin Holman, Bear’s most recent audiologist who helped fit Bear with his new Ponto Pro processor and thank you to Alan Raffauf, Oticon Medical’s Vice President of Marketing, for donating this new sound processor and for wanting to give back to the Microtia and Atresia community through the Ear Community organization. Ear Community applauds the passion and effort that was involved with these individuals in helping another child hear better, so Bear can hear the way life was intended. Ear Community is also happy to have been able to help a child hear better just in time to celebrate the month of May which is Better Hearing and Speech Month.
Ear Community is a 501(c)(3) global nonprofit charitable organization that helps the Microtia and Atresia community and was started by a mother of a child who was born with Microtia and Atresia.
Thank you from Ear Community and its Board of Directors!
Founder and the Executive Director of Ear Community
Founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group