On Wednesday, May 11th, 2016, Melissa and Sophia Shemanski, members of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group (an online support group run by the Ear Community Organization…a charitable organization that helps individuals born with Microtia and Atresia all over the world), helped promote public awareness and education about Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss. Sophia and her mom, Melissa, wanted to do something special in recognition for Better Hearing and Speech month this May. So, they decided to help educate the state of Indiana about Microtia and Atresia and how a hearing device known as the Baha (bone anchored hearing device) can help someone hear better who has a conductive hearing loss just like Sophia has. Melissa talks about how her family was able to obtain helpful information through the Ear Community Organization which helped inform them about their options for surgery and for hearing loss. Melissa also explains how fortunate her family is to have found the Ear Community Organization because she has been able to connect with others in the same situation as her daughter, Sophia, and learn from other’s experiences.
In the news clip that aired Sophia and Melissa’s story, the mother/daughter advocate team gives thanks to the Ear Community Organization for helping them learn what they know today about Microtia and Atresia and Sophia’s hearing loss. Sophia and Melissa have been members of the Ear Community’s Organizational support group, the “Microtia and Atresia Support Group” for nearly six years now. Melissa and Sophia belong to the Ear Community Organization’s pen pal group and they also enjoy participating in Ear Community’s secret Santa exchange every year where Sophia and her family are given the opportunity to exchange gifts with another family who has a loved one with Microtia and Atresia. Sophia also talks about her lucky Microtia ear, just like Nemo has a lucky fin. Thank you Sophia for showing off your beautiful little ear and for helping so many in the community learn more about Microtia and Atresia!
Here is the link where you can watch Melissa and Sophia’s news story: http://www.fox28.com/story/31953110/2016/05/11/sophias-story-learning-more-about-hearing-loss-prevention-month
Thank you to Sophia and Melissa Shemanski for helping promote public awareness about Microtia and Atresia and for being thankful for the help they have received through the Ear Community Organization. From this wonderful story about little lucky Microia ears to how a Cochlear Baha can help Sophia hear her best despite being born without an ear canal, thank you Sophia and Melissa for advocating for so many other individuals in the same situation and for promoting awareness during this month!
Melissa Tumblin (Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community)
Ear Community board members