2016 Picnics and Events

2016 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 will take place in Utah, California, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ontario, Canada.  It is very exciting for many families! Everyone enjoys attending our picnics and 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 the world’s leading hearing device and medical device companies all come together to mingle with us at our picnics, helping educate us on all of our options including hearing loss.

We look forward to seeing you at our Ear Community picnics this year!

Melissa Tumblin,
Founder and Executive Director of Ear Community
Founder of the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook

2016 Ear Community Picnics

EHDI Meeting
Early Hearing Detection and Intervention
March 13th thru 15th, 2016 in San Diego, California

The Ear Community Organization is very excited to attend the EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Intervention) Meeting that will take place this March 13th thru the 15th in San Diego, California!  Parents and medical professionals will be able to stop by Ear Community’s booth and learn more about all options for Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss.  Ear Community will be presenting at EHDI as well!

Please stop by and visit us at booth #23. We look forward to seeing you at EHDI this year!

Utah Ear Community Picnic
Salt Lake City, Utah
Date:  Saturday June 4th, 2016
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Heidi at:  SLC.EarCommunity.Picnic@gmail.com

California Ear Community Picnic
San Diego, California

Date:  Saturday, June 11th, 2016
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Leslie at:  SanDiegoEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Wisconsin Ear Community Picnic
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Date:  Saturday June 25th, 2016
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Ashley at:  WisconsinEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Kentucky Ear Community Picnic
Louisville, Kentucky
Date:  Saturday, July 9th, 2016
Time:  10AM to 2PM
RSVP to Melissa at:  KentuckyEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Tennessee Ear Community Picnic
Nashville, Tennessee
Date:  Saturday, July 16th, 2016
Time:  2PM to 5PM
RSVP to Melissa at:  TennesseeEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

Vanderbilt University and Children's Hospital

Vanderbilt University and Children’s Hospital

*  This Ear Community picnic will be in collaboration with a FREE surgeon conference that will take place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  This conference is a wonderful opportunity to learn about all of your options for Microtia and Atresia and again…it is FREE to Microtia and Atresia families as Vanderbilt University and Children’s Hospital is a nonprofit organization.
Our collaborative event will begin at 9AM with educational presentations by:
Scott Stephan MD  Facial Plastic Reconstructive Surgery Medpor, Vanderbilt
Ron Eavey MD SM Director, Professor and Chair for Research and Causes of Congenital Ear Malformation, Vanderbilt
Sivakumar Chinnadurai MD MPH Pediatric Otolaryngology Rig Graft, Vanderbilt
Alejandro Rivas MD Neuro-otology Hearing Restoration in Aural Atresia, Vanderbilt
Scott Fiscus B.C.O.,  Anaplastology Ear Prosthesis, Nashville, TN
Parent Panel
*  A delicious BBQ lunch will be provided as we kick off our Ear Community picnic along with a face painter, balloon artist, and magician.  We look forward to seeing everyone at our event.  A special thank you to Vanderbilt University and Children’s Hospital and Dr. Ron Eavey for making this event possible with Ear Community.  Please join us for an amazing day!
For detailed conference information, please contact Erin Bernardo at erin.m.bernardo@vanderbilt.edu

Canada Ear Community Picnic
Hamilton, Ontario  Canada

Date:  Saturday, July  23rd, 2016
Time:  11AM to 3PM
RSVP to Cindy at:  OntarioEarCommunityPicnic@gmail.com

AudiologyOnline CEU Accredited Webinar
“How to Overcome the Struggles of Pediatric Hearing Loss”
Course #27972
Tuesday, September 27th at 1PM EDT

This course will describe the struggles in a child’s life due to unilateral hearing loss and how a parent can help overcome. The course will also explain how the technology of the Ponto System can benefit a child with hearing loss. This course is sponsored by Oticon Medical and is offered through AudilogyOnline, offering (1) contact hour of credit.  This course is geared toward audiologists, dispensing audiologists, and speech therapists, including families with children who are single side deaf or have unilateral hearing loss. This course is FREE to families who register for this course.  Professionals must be an AudiologyOnline member.  CEUs/Hours Offered: AG Bell – LSLS/1.0 Domain 1, Domain 2; ASHA/0.1 Intermediate, Professional; BAA/1.0; CAA/1.0; IACET/0.1; IHS/1.0; Kansas DHE, LTS-S0035/1.0; NZAS/1.0; SAC/1.0, Under Review: AAA/0.1 Intermediate.  This course is accredited in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and in the United States.  To register for this course, please click on the following link:  http://www.audiologyonline.com/audiology-ceus/course/to-overcome-struggles-pediatric-hearing-27972

 

National Microtia Awareness Day Ribbon for Ear Community Organization - November 9th, 2016.

National Microtia Awareness Day Ribbon for Ear Community Organization – November 9th, 2016.

First Annual National Microtia Awareness Day
Throughout the United States and anywhere wishing to celebrate with all of us!
November 9th, 2016
To hear all about our amazing first National Microtia Awareness Day, please click here
Click here for our press release…
Click here for an interview with AudiologyOnline about National Microtia Awareness Day…
Click here for our radio commercial for raising awareness about Microtia and Atresia…
Click here anytime during the year to order official National Microtia Awareness t-shirts…
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CELEBRATED OUR FIRST NATIONAL MICROTIA AWARENESS DAY WITH ALL OF US HERE AT THE EAR COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING ALL WHO ALSO CELEBRATED WITH US IN OTHER COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!  This day was SO amazing and so very special to so many of us, everywhere!  🙂

2016 Salt Lake City, Utah Ear Community picnic
June 4th, 2016

On Saturday, June 4th, 2016, our first Salt Lake City, Utah Ear Community Microtia and Atresia summer family picnic took place and it was a beautiful day for everyone!  This was the first of our six Ear Community picnics to kick off for this summer and we had 110 people come together to share experiences!  This picnic was also one of our first “Moms on a Mission” picnics as Heidi Jeffs, our picnic host drove from Idaho to host our picnic in Salt Lake City, Utah along with Melissa Tumblin, (Founder of the Ear Community Organization) who also drove from Colorado to be at our Salt Lake City picnic with everyone!  Heidi wanted to make sure that this community could come together.  Heidi and her daughter, Rosalee, who was born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear, drove from Idaho to make this happen with the help of Heidi’s parents, Francis and Kay Tyron were also happy to be our picnic photographers on our special day.  Heidi found the Ear Community Organization when Rosalee was born and since then has been heavily involved with helping our organization as a board member and as an admin for one of Ear Community’s support groups on Facebook, called the Microtia and Atresia Support Group.  Thank you Heidi!….for all of your help and support to the Ear Community Organization and thank you most of all for being my friend!  – Melissa Tumblin (Founder of Ear Community)

The kids had a wonderful time at our picnic while they had their faces painted and had balloons made.  Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch that was provided by Kneaders of Utah.  Thank you to Costco Colorado (Thornton store) for donating a gift card toward juice packs for the kids at our picnic and thank you to Larry Dubois of Creager Mercentile for donating all of our bottled water so everyone would be comfortable at our picnic.  Thank you to Erin Wozniak of Weesie Pals for donating a stuffed monkey to our picnic so that one of our lucky kiddos could win it during our drawing.  Tai Medina was our lucky winner of his new monkey pal.  It was a special reunion for Tarra Medina and her son, Tai, at our Salt Lake City Ear Community picnic because one year ago in February, her son Tai, received the world’s first 3D printed prosthetic ear made by Paul Tanner.  We also had many families mingling and sharing their experiences with children and adults who have had reconstructive surgery and for those who have chosen not to.  Thank you to Violetta Lopez for donating all of the bubbles for the kids to have a great time with and for bringing the ice chest and cooler for our drinks!  The kids also enjoyed playing catch and soccer and hula hooping on this beautiful day.

Thank you to the medical professionals who attended our picnic to help educate families on the facts for rib graft surgery (Dr. Grant Fairbanks and Dr. Russell Griffiths), for Medpor (Dr. Russell Griffiths), and Paul Tanner for prosthetic ears.   It was also wonderful to finally meet Tarra Medina in person as she is one of our Ear Community support group admins who helps our support group members every week!

A very special thank you to Ear Community’s amazing sponsors for not just sponsoring our picnic in Salt Lake City, but for also helping educate families on their options, for helping them learn more about how to manage hearing loss, and about Medpor.  Thank you to Cochlear Americas, Medtronic (Sophono), Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF!  Our memorable day for these families would not have been possible if it were not for all of you!

Thank you to everyone for coming together in Salt Lake City, Utah and for making our day amazing!
Here are some memories from our Salt Lake City Ear Community Microtia and Atresia summer family picnic:

2016 San Diego, California Ear Community picnic
June 11th, 2016

On Saturday, June 11th, our San Diego, California Ear Community picnic took place at beautiful De Anza Cove Park in Mission Bay.  We had nearly 200 people join us at our amazing picnic.  We had families travel to our picnic from Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Orgeon, and many families drove for hours to get to our San Diego picnic….as far as nine and ten hours from Bakersfield, San Jose, and Sacramento!  This picnic was another one of our “Moms on a Mission” picnics because both of our picnic hosts came from different states to host our special day in San Diego.  Dr. Leslie Gonsette came from Alaska to host our picnic along with her beautiful daughter, Sofie and the Tumblin family came from Colorado to help out.  Leslie found our Ear Community Organization almost a year ago when Sofie was born.  Ever since then, she has enjoyed being a part of Ear Community.  Thank you to Leslie’s sister, Kristel Gordon, for also helping us out with our picnic.  Kristel helped us obtain a donation gift card from Costco by going into Costco and telling them about the wonderful things that our organization does and asked them to give back.  Thank you Kristel and thank you to the Costco on Morena Blvd. in San Diego!  Leslie and Sofie have become wonderful friends to my family and that is the the bond that happens for many of the families who become a part of our Ear Community organization….we become friends with so many families who are in the same situation and are there for one another.  Thank you so much Leslie for all of your help and for getting to finally meet you in person after all of our e-mails and phone calls over the past year!  It was such a pleasure to meet your parents and Kristel and especially beautiful Sofie!

We had tons of fun for the kids  on our special day.  The kids enjoyed getting their faces painted and tattoos.  The jumpy house was a blast and always busy!  Our magician was a hit with everyone!  There were also plenty of fun with bubbles thanks to Oticon Medical providing bubble sticks for the kids.  It it always so rewarding to see families come together in the same situation and share experiences with each other.  We had families with little ones who are new to Microtia and Atresia be given the opportunity to learn about their options and to realize that they are not alone.  We had families who were able to speak with each other about surgery and other families who have were able to share why they are not interested in surgery.  Everyone was able to learn about the latest in hearing devices and try them on at our picnic.  What I have always loved is when I finally get to meet the families that I have been speaking with over the phone and via e-mail and on our support groups for years!  It was so amazing getting to finally meet so many of you at our picnic!  I also always look forward to seeing the families who travel to multiple Ear Community picnics over the years!  Thank you for your support and for being my traveling family.

I would like to say a special thank you to our Ear Community sponsors for helping make our picnic possible.  Without your support and without your help, our special days would not be possible.  Thank you Cochlear Americas, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF!  Thank you for your education and in helping inform Ear Community families of their options.  Thank you to Cochlear Americas for giving away Vibe the Cochlear moose and thank you to Oticon Medical for raffling off a stuffed Massey the monkey and thank you to Medtronic for bringing so many cute bob cats for the kids!  Thank you to Erin Wozniak of Weesie Pals for donating a Weesie Pal monkey!  Thank you to Hannah and Christine Canfield for the nice thank you gift to Hailey and Ally!  Most of all, thank you to the families who joined us on our special day in San Diego!  I can’t wait to see so many of you again at another one of our Ear Community picnics soon!

Here are some fun memories from our San Diego picnic:

2016 Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Ear Community picnic
June 25th, 2016

On Saturday, June 25th, 2016, on a beautiful sunny day in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, Ashley Henke and her son, Brody, along with her family, hosted our Ear Community picnic for Microtia and Atresia families. We had close to 80 people join us in coming together to share experiences with each other and to learn about their options for Microtia and Atresia. Families traveled from all over Wisconsin and Indiana to attend our Microtia family event.

Ashley and Brody did an amazing job hosting our Wisconsin Ear Community picnic. The Wisconsin Dells area park location was beautiful and they found an awesome face painter who made Brody the super hero for the day! We had a fun strolling magician who made everyone laugh and wonder about his magic tricks. There were lots of give-a-ways, even a football for the kids with the Ear Community logo on it that Ashley had printed up! Brody had the chance to be a role model and share his journey with other families about his surgeries and what it is like now to have a big boy ear. It’s stories like Brody’s that help give other children and adults who attend Ear Community picnics the chance to see how important it is to know your options and how what a success and relief it can be when you finally feel comfortable enough making a decision that is right for you.

The Henke family is one of those special families that you meet who have enormous hearts! Ashley Henke and her husband, James, along with Brody, and his sister Rilyn, and little brother Milo, have helped give back to their community for years now at their Harvest for Hearing that they host at their farm where they raise funds to help families in need. The family has tons of fun on their farm and a corn maze and tractor rides and so much more for the community when they attend Brody’s Harvest for Hearing at their farm for the annual fundraiser. Ashley’s son, Brody, believes in giving back to kids who need help. When kids help kids it is something special and amazing! Brody has helped raise funds for other children who need help with their hearing, surgical costs, and funds to help with their needs. Some of these children have had Microtia and Atresia and some have had spinal complications or heart defects and more. Thank you Ashley, James, Brody, Rilyn, and Milo for all that you do! Thank you also for being such an amazing donor to the Ear Community Organization too as the Henke family has donated to the Ear Community Organization for the past two years because of finding the help they needed for Brody through our organization. Thank you so much for giving back and for helping so many in your own community and through Ear Community for other microtia and atresia families!

A special thank you to all who helped Ashley and her family make sure our Ear Community picnic went off without a hitch! Thank you to Ashley’s mom and dad, Ken and Cheri Borzick, and to Ashley’s sister, Christa Van Treeck. They helped hang our Ear Community banner, get the food for our picnic and drinks, organize and help greet everyone at our picnic. A special thank you to Thrivent Financial for donating $250 that allowed Ashley to buy the Nerf footballs for the kids and have the Ear Community logo printed on them. Thank you especially to Ear Community’s amazing sponsors: Cochlear Americas, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF for helping educate the families who attended our Ear Community picnic about hearing loss, hearing devices, and Medpor as a surgical option. Without your sponsorship, our Ear Community picnic would not be possible. Thank you to members of the Birth23 Organization (birth to three) for being at our picnic too helping families know their options when it comes to early intervention services and help for therapy services and IFSP plan information. Thank you to Dr. Grant Fairbanks for helping educate families about the rib graft surgical technique for outer ear reconstruction. Thank you to Dr. Russell Griffiths for helping educate families on both the rib graft and Medpor surgical techniques. Thank you to anaplasthologists Greg Gion, Megan Spindel Thomas, and Julie Jordan Brown for helping educate families about prosthetic ears and having a fun craft for the kids with molds. Thank you most of all to the families who attended our amazing picnic, coming together to share your experiences and learning about your options.

Here are some fun memories from our Wisconsin Dells Ear Community picnic:

2016 Louisville, Kentucky Ear Community picnic
July 9th, 2016

On Saturday, July 9th, in Louisville, Kentucky, Melissa McClellan (Ear Community board member) and her family hosted a wonderful Ear Community Microtia and Atresia summer family picnic.  It was a beautiful day and we had families join us at our special picnic day from Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and China!  About 70 people joined us to learn more about Microtia and Atresia and about all of their options.  Everyone enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs and a delicious Ear Community Microtia and Atresia cake that Melissa McClellan had made just for our picnic which was a big hit with everyone!  The kids enjoyed playing together and getting their faces painted and balloons made.  Melissa’s son, Jamison, who has 4.5 years old and has Microtia and Atresia of his left ear told her that “mommy, I need to tell you something…that little boy has an ear like me!!!!” Melissa McClellan said that this “warmed her heart….and that it’s so nice to see families coming together to enjoy the day, learning new things from our sponsors and each other, and having fun!”  Melissa even had special Ear Community Microtia and Atresia t-shirts made for herself, her husband Jamie, and her son Jamison, so they could be official at our Ear Community picnic.

One of our Ear Community hearing device recipients was also present at our Kentucky picnic. This was a wonderful surprise from little Hudson Yost and his family to attend our picnic all the way from China.  Ear Community helped Hudson obtain an Oticon Medical bone anchored hearing device last year so that he could hear better.  Melissa McClellan said “it was so rewarding to meet Hudson in person and meet his family” since she helped vote on Ear Community’s board to help him obtain his donated hearing device.  Hudson had a wonderful time playing with all of the kids at our picnic and he decided to get his arms and legs painted by our face painter.  By the end of the picnic, Hudson had most of his body painted, lol!  All of the kids enjoyed meeting someone just like them with little ears!

Thank you to our Ear Community sponsors for helping make our special day possible…we could not have made this day possible without your support!  Thank you to Cochlear Americas, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF for helping educate families on the latest bone conduction hearing devices and also about Medpor for outer ear reconstructive surgery.  There were even tears of joy from some families as they watched their children try on hearing devices for the first time, realizing how much better they could hear.  Thank you to UPS for making a donation to our picnic and for helping provide our delicious lunch for everyone and some of our entertainment.  Thank you to Cortney Lewis for donating her time to be our picnic photographer and for helping capture our wonderful memories for all of us on our special day.  Thank you most of all to my friend, Melissa McClellan, (and her family) for hosting our amazing Ear Community picnic in Kentucky!  Melissa is not only an amazing advocate for families in the state of Kentucky for deaf and hard of hearing children and for microtia and atresia families, but she has become such a beautiful friend to me and my family!  I am so happy that Melissa has come into my life.  Melissa found Ear Community when her son, Jamison, was born with microtia and atresia and she worried just like all of us, wondering how did this happen and what doctors to go to.  Now, Melissa helps guide hundreds of families as she advocates in her community for microtia and atresia families everyday.  Melissa has even been invited to attend conferences in the industry that help families manage hearing loss and how to help obtain IEP information for their children in the school environment.  I will always hold a special place in my heart for you, Melissa, and Jamison.  🙂  Thank you for your passion and support to the Ear Community Organization and to families everywhere who have loved ones born with microtia and atresia.

Here are some fun memories from our special day in Louisville, Kentucky:

2016 Nashville, Tennessee Ear Community picnic
July 16th, 2016

We had an amazing time in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, July 16th, at our Ear Community picnic!  Our Ear Community picnic took place on the beautiful Vanderbilt University campus along with an amazing FREE educational surgeon conference that was hosted by the Vanderbilt University Microtia and Atresia clinic. Everyone had a wonderful time and learned about all of their options. We had about 85 people join us from surrounding states such as Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, including Tennessee. The kids enjoyed fun entertainment from an amazing balloon maker….the balloons were very creative and some of the best that I have ever seen! The kids also enjoyed getting their faces painted and an amazing magic show!

Prior to our Ear Community picnic, families enjoyed coming together during the first part of the day at a wonderful FREE educational conference where everyone was able to learn more about Microtia and Atresia and all of their options.  Everyone enjoyed meeting with Dr. Scott Stephan (Medpor surgeon), Dr. Siva Chinnadurai (rib graft surgeon), and Dr. Alejandro Rivas (canalplasty surgeon) all of Vanderbilt University’s Microtia and Atresia clinic and ENT department. Scott Fiscus helped educate everyone about prosthetic ears and Dr. Margaret McRedmand helped everyone learn more about hearing loss and insurance coverage for bone anchored hearing devices (also of Vanderbilt University). While we did not have the pleasure of having Dr. Ron Eavey join us at our event to share his research with us on Microtia and Atresia and soft tissue outer ear reconstruction, he was with all of us in spirit as he was out of the country traveling on business.

Thank you to all of our amazing Ear Community sponsors for being a part of our amazing day during our picnic: Cochlear Americas, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF. Families were able to learn about the latest in bone conduction hearing devices and also about Medpor for outer ear reconstruction.  Thank you also to the Hands & Voices Organization for joining us at our picnic to help families know that there is local help for loved ones who have hearing loss. Thank you especially to Vanderbilt University for hosting our event on such a beautiful campus and for helping bring all of these beautiful families together so they could be able to share experiences and learn together! Thank you to Erin Bernardo of Vanderbilt University for helping me organize everything from food to facility to entertainers! Thank you also to Melissa McClellan (Ear Community Board member) and her family for joining us at our picnic from Kentucky to help out with everything!

Here are some fun memories from our amazing Ear Community picnic at Vanderbilt University!

2016 Hamilton, Ontario Canada Ear Community picnic
July 23rd, 2016

It was a magical day on Saturday, July 23rd,  in Hamilton Ontario Canada at our Ear Community Microtia and Atresia summer family picnic.  We had about 60 people come together to share their stories and meet others in the same situation.  This was the first Ear Community picnic held in the Hamilton area.  Some families were given the opportunity to meet for the first time at our Ear Community picnic even though some had known each other for years on social media. Tons of questions asked and answered from our amazing hearing representatives from Oticon Medial and Medtronic.

Our special day was only made possible with the help of so many people and companies who believe in the Ear Community and the need for awareness Microtia and Atresia. I would personally like to thank each and everyone of them…
Thank you so Cochlear Americas, Oticon Medical, and Medtronic for being such amazing hearing device sponsors to the Ear Community Organization, helping educate families about the latest technology in hearing devices.  Thank you to Stryker CMF for being an amazing sponsor to the Ear Community Organization as well and for helping educate families about Medpor for reconstructive ear surgery.  Ear Community would also like to give a special thank you to the  City of Hamilton for donating our beautiful park location and to Councillor Terry Whitehead, to Mountain Kidz Club, Kathy Archer aka Giggles the Clown for helping put smiles on our children at our picnic, to Magician Carl McCumber for making our day extra special and magical for everyone.  A very very special thank you to Fellow Ear Community supporter and friend, Regan Franklin (and her family), for helping behind the scenes of our picnic and for helping have a new children’s bike from BMW Grand River that was donated by General Manager Jordan Domelle (also Regan’s brother) and also a custom orthadontics package donated by Ryan Ellis of Physio in Motion!  Thank you Michelle Tovey and her girls Sarah and Melanie, thank you to Quiznos Subs and Dave Ko for donating a generous portion of our delicious lunch and to Mr Grande at Pizza Pizza Pizza for donating pizzas for everyone to enjoy.  Thank you to Chedoke Public School, Pricella Moncrie, and Amy Zoretto and thank you to Metro Freightliner and Derick Côte and Robbie Hipson. Thank you to Emma Topping for all her games.  Thank you to Hamilton School of Martial Arts (HMSA) and Sensei Mickey Dimic, along with UPS store Sharon Cole,  Cope 527, John Morris,

Snapd Newspaper, and Shelly Cameron.  Thank you to Food Basics and Upper Paradise , to Tim Hortons, Upper James and Stone Church.  Thank you also to Erin Wozniak of Weesie Pals for donating an adorable Weesie Pal monkey to one lucky kiddo who won our drawing at our picnic.

The biggest thanks goes to the families and friends who made this day come true for myself and my son, James. Without the help of everyone this day would not have happened. The biggest thanks goes to our founders of the Ear Community Organization, Melissa Tumblin and her daughter, Ally. Without them none of us would have ever gotten together as one big family. I was so happy even though she wasn’t there in person we were able to call her and have her a part of this beautiful event.

– Thank you so much, Cindy, James, and Lily Stewart in Hamilton, Ontario.  (Cindy is an Ear Community Board of Director member).As the Founder of the Ear Community Organization, I would like to thank Cindy for everything that she has done.  Cindy has become an amazing advocate over the past four years that I have known her through our organization’s online support group.  Cindy is one of those parents who truly enjoys helping educate others and in helping them learn so they don’t have to do things the hard way.  Cindy’s son, James, had canalplasty and outer ear reconstructive surgery a couple of years back so she is great at answering many questions that other families often have.  In fact, James was recently implanted with the Cochlear Americas Baha 5 hearing device and he is enjoying the sounds of life to the fullest including listening to music and hearing his own voice even better now.  If anyone has questions about Microtia and Atresia, Cindy can absolutely help you in the Ontario area.  Cindy has been asked to speak at school functions and for Sick Kids Hospital events and is really trying to help promote education and awareness for Microtia and Atresia in amazing ways.  Cindy worked so hard to help make our Hamilton Ear Community picnic possible and she did it by having everything donated as her way of helping give back to the Ear Community Organization.  Thank you so much for your love and support Cindy and most of all for becoming such an amazing friend!  I can’t wait for you to help the Ontario area of Canada be the most educated in Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss and all about the Ear Community Organization.  Love you Cindy, James, and Lily!  – Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community xxx

Here are some fun memories from our special day in Hamilton, Ontario at our Ear Community picnic:

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